CFSC-OPEC is proudly celebrating the ongoing Government of Canada Connecting Families initiative, made available to hundreds of thousands of low-income Canadians since November 2018.
Announced in Budget 2017, this initiative was conceived as a means of helping to make home Internet more affordable and bridging a digital divide that leaves 1.3 million Canadian families without a residential connection.
“CFSC-OPEC is very pleased to help deliver the Connecting Families initiative,” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director of CFSC-OPEC. “With the help of corporate donors as well as the ongoing support of Internet Service Providers, Canadian families are benefitting from connectivity and opportunities for economic participation.”
“Many low-income families face financial barriers to getting online, such as the cost of purchasing a computer and the high cost of an Internet connection at home. That’s why through this initiative our government is working with the telecom industry to ensure that all Canadians can benefit from the digital economy,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
As of March 31 2019, 17,731 families had signed up with participating Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to access this $10 Internet plan. Several ISPs, including Bell Canada, Cogeco, Shaw Communications and TELUS are also supporting the initiative through technology donation agreements for refurbishment and redistribution by the Computers for Schools program across the country.
“As a long-standing partner of CFSC-OPEC, Bell is proud to help provide Canadian families with the tools they need to take advantage of broadband access for education, personal development and community engagement,” said Marc Duchesne, Vice President, Corporate Security and Responsibility at Bell. “Last year alone Bell donated more than 8,700 computers to the program and we’re pleased to see them used to empower even more Canadians.”
“Cogeco Connexion has been part of Québec’s and Ontario’s social, economic and cultural landscape for more than 60 years, contributing to their regional and economic development. Providing equal opportunities to children and families through digital inclusion is a priority for Cogeco as well as maintaining a positive and sustainable impact on the communities in which we offer our products and services.” said Ken Smithard, President of Cogeco Connexion.
“Connectivity is the fuel that powers our daily lives, and we understand how important it is for families to have internet access in the home,” said Sanae Takahashi, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Pricing & Packaging, Shaw Communications. “We are pleased to support the effort of CFSC-OPEC to bring the Connecting Families Initiative to life and help give families across the country the greater opportunities and benefits of a connected life.”
“We know that technology is a great equalizer, but only if we all have access to it equally. Unequal access to technology is exacerbating the unacceptable social barriers facing many Canadians,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “The TELUS team is addressing these pressing social issues, making unprecedented investments in technology to bridge geographic and socio-economic divides and supporting more vibrant and sustainable communities. We are proud to support the Government of Canada’s Connecting Families initiative, modeled after TELUS’ Internet for Good initiative. We have seen the incredible benefits this program affords and we will continue to expand our Internet for Good program, alongside Connecting Families, to offer subsidized Internet access, as well as digital literacy training and TELUS Wise support, to more than 100,000 low-income families.”
Within the first months of the initiative, over 24,831 computers had been ordered. With this level of participation in the initiative, technology donations have become increasingly important, and CFSC is very grateful for the partnerships that were signed in the past year with new corporate donors such as McCain and the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
The positive response to this program is an indication of how meaningful digital inclusion efforts, like the Connecting Families initiative, are to families and the businesses that support them across Canada.
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