OTTAWA – February 26, 2021 – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre announced today its participation in the upcoming National Day of Action for Affordable Internet on March 16. The one-day virtual conference includes a coalition of partners and organizations dedicated to demanding affordable internet for all Canadians.
“All consumers, but especially low-income Canadians, struggle to afford internet and cellphone connections in an environment made infinitely more difficult by inadequate laws, regulatory capture and market dominance by big companies. The first step is protest, the next is action on all of these barriers,” noted John Lawford, PIAC’s Executive Director and General Counsel.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, PIAC along with ACORN Canada and the National Pensioners Federation has called for the federal government to ensure fair and affordable Internet access for All Canadians and particularly low-income Canadians and seniors on fixed incomes. Most recently, ACORN, NPF and PIAC have demanded the federal government create a $50 rebate to consumers for the remainder of COVID-19, as the US has already done. Their proposed “Canadian Broadband Benefit” (CBB) would provide a $50 rebate for low-income Canadians, fixed-income seniors and those who would otherwise qualify for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit due to lost employment income.
Lawford says the pandemic has brought attention to structural inequalities for Canadians to have fair access to affordable internet.
“The pandemic has not created these issues, but it’s certainly brought them to the forefront,” says Lawford. “Now is the time to act to ensure all Canadians can access and afford the Internet services they need.”
The National Day of Action for Affordable Internet will be streamed live on March 16. Canadians who wish to attend can find agenda, details and registration at https://www.affordable-internet.ca/
For more information:
Executive Director/General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
613-562-4002 x 125