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CRTC widens the digital divide

Lower-income Canadians will have to rely upon the market or hope the Federal government helps them to get online

OTTAWA, January 25, 2017 – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), ACORN Canada (ACORN) and National Pensioners Federation (NPF) today reacted negatively to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) rejection of their review of the CRTC’s previous decision to deny creating a fund to ensure all Canadians, including lower-income Canadians, have equal access to broadband and other telecommunications services.

John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, said “We are once again shocked that the CRTC will do precisely nothing to support affordable internet access. They are widening the digital divide by saying ‘it’s not our problem.’”

The CRTC decision effectively asks provincial governments or the federal government, along with unspecified charitable help from telecommunications companies, to close the affordability gap, which PIAC-ACORN-NPF has shown affects about 10% of Canadians.

Donna Borden, ACORN Canada national board member, noted: “Being poor and online in Canada today can mean having to choose between internet access and enough food, a warm home or decent clothing. Shame on the CRTC.”

For more information please contact:

John Lawford
Executive Director & General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ×25

Judy Duncan
Head Organizer

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