ACORN Canada

ACORN Canada

July 10, 2015 12:04 ET

ADVISORY: ACORN to Deliver Hundreds of Testimonials on July 14 to CRTC to Say "Internet Is NOT a Luxury"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 10, 2015) -

Attention: News and Assignment Editors in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Gatineau and Halifax

ACORN members in Metro Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Gatineau and Halifax will deliver hundreds of statements from low income families detailing the crucial role the internet has on their lives and how unaffordable home access is.

July 14th is the deadline ending the first phase of the CRTC's review of basic telecommunications services. The CRTC is investigating if broadband should be considered a "basic" telecommunications services and how to fund a subsidy if accessibility is linked to affordability. ACORN members are keen to participate in this vitally important review; we want the CRTC to know that high-speed internet is an essential part of life in Canada and affordability barriers need to be removed.

What: ACORN Canada members deliver hundreds of testimonials to the CRTC from low income families who NEED high-speed internet but cannot afford it.
When: Tuesday June 14, 2015: 11am – 1pm
Where: Ottawa & Toronto (ON), Vancouver (BC), Gatineau (QC), Halifax (NS)

ACORN did a survey of close to 500 low and moderate income family members asking them to share (1) What online services they use; (2) if and why these services are important to them; (3) if home internet is affordable; and (4) how would their lives change if internet was affordable. A report summarizing the results will be released later this month. Below are a few examples:

Ben from BC: "I am a disabled Canadian confined to a wheelchair, the internet is access to the world, speaking with friends, colleagues and relatives, the internet allows me the freedom to do many things, like banking and medical research, without travelling which is very difficult for me. … [if home internet was more affordable] … I'd have more money for my family, we could eat better."

Lori from Toronto: "[We use the internet for] government and school forms, letters, family work, writing, creative websites, teens doing homework, email, other various research […] banking, paying cell phone bills, internet bills. We all use it here as a family. It is very important because it is part of our education and work and contact. Basically, we can't live without it really - very integral to our work and responsibilities. [If home internet was more affordable], [life] would become a lot better. It would free up budget so we can pay back debts."

Canada lags behind many other countries in this area. For example, on June 18, 2015, the US Federal Communications Commission proposed to modernize its Lifeline program to include subsidized broadband access in a move that recognizes high-speed Internet as a key to pulling the poor out of poverty.

ACORN Canada, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, founded in 2004, is a grassroots organization that has rapidly grown into one of the country's most effective voices for low- and moderate-income Canadians. With over 70,000 members in 20 chapters in 9 cities across the country our central purpose is to effectively represent and champion the interests of Canada's low- and moderate-income urban citizens on the critical issues of social and economic justice.

Contact Information

  • For more information, or to talk to an ACORN Canada
    spokesperson, contact:
    ACORN Canada Staff
    Judy Duncan
    Cell: 416 996 6401