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A national advocacy organization wants the federal government to better regulate broadband to give cheaper access to Internet for low income families.
Leeann Gates — a member of ACORN, the organization that coordinated Thursday afternoon’s rally to close what they say is a “digital divide” in society — says that, for years she went without Internet service, but buckled a few years back so that her daughter, now in Grade 9, could use the web for schoolwork.
But in the summer, they go without service.
Dozens of protesters from a group representing low-income Canadians took to the streets of Ottawa Thursday, calling on the country’s largest telecommunications companies to provide cheaper Internet service for Canada’s poor.
About 40 members of ACORN Canada gathered outside the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library on Metcalfe Street before heading to Parliament Hill to pressure the government to make sure that all Canadians, regardless of income, have access to high-speed Internet for as little as $10 a month.
Members of ACORN say unaffordable internet rates are hurting kids from low income families because those kids need the Internet to do their homework and assignments. That's why ACORN groups across the country held demonstrations Thursday to pressure the federal government to lower Internet costs.
Many Toronto families lack high-speed internet, not because it isn't available, but because it is too expensive. What does that do to students? Matt Galloway spoke with Ashley Morris is a single parent of two living in East York, and with Anuja Bharti. She is a high school teacher and head of Student Success at North Park Secondary School in Brampton.
The Harper government recently unveiled its plan to invest millions of dollars over the next three years to expand Internet access.
Comparing the plan to the creation of the national railway and the opening of the Northwest Passage, the government proclaimed that, "access to the Internet is essential to create jobs, realize economic opportunities, and link Canadians to online services as well as far-off family members and friends."