CIRA Election Forum
Forum électoral de CIRA

We appreciate everyone's participation and lively discussion surrounding CIRA's board election.
Voting will end today (October 4) at 12:30 at which time the election forum will become inactive.

Nous apprécions la participation de tous·tes et les discussions animées entourant l'élection du conseil de CIRA.
Le vote se terminera aujourd'hui (le 4 octobre) à 12h30, au même moment le forum électoral deviendra inactif.

Forum Forum Questions for candidates / Questions pour les candidat·e·s The digital divides in Canada are unsettling. These inequities impact many of our citizens. Our social and economic development suffer because of this. Ignoring this issue is reckless. What would you do to democratize Canada’s internet?

  • Gwen

    September 21, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    I’ve seen, as a member and now co-chair for the Community Investment Program, the work that CIRA does in this space – looking for the spaces in Canada where broadband is still not a thing – that’s where CIRA puts the focus of the granting program. I agree with that program and iwhs CIRA could fund more of the applicants with their projects.

  • Robert

    September 21, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    This is a very broad and meaningful question that could easily become a full evening’s conversation. From economics, accessibility, social responsibility, and educational access to literacy, immigration and beyond, this is a hugely important consideration in Canada. It’s good to be discussing this at CIRA and considering all factors – including the many organizations in Canada that work on improving the overall standing. As digital divide is impacted by multiple areas, I believe we need to focus on the following two areas to start:

    • Education: Invest more in the education of all of our young people to ensure they are equipped equally with the skills and knowledge on how to use the internet safely and in a meaningful fashion. Additionally, make sure parents are well equipped with the tools and resources to help their children safely and proactively navigate the internet. As the senior populate (65+ years) is becoming increasingly engaged and connected online*, I would explore ways of making sure they have the resources, education, and accessibility they need to succeed in participating online. Think of COVID and grocery delivery for example. Those who were not online could not benefit from services that could be booked online to reduce exposure. Of course, with this senior group, education on safety and fraud schemes remains of huge importance.

    • Broadband access: A large number of households have smart phones but not broadband. We need to discuss measures on how we can make broadband more affordable and accessible to as many people in all of Canada as possible – specifically remote, Indigenous and other underserved communities.


    *See Stats Canada August 14, 2023 report on internet connectivity, “In terms of age category, the largest increases were among older Canadians, with over 8 in 10 (82.6%) seniors (those aged 65 years and older) used the Internet in 2022, up 6.3 percentage points from 2020. For those aged 75 years and older, the increase was even larger: up by 10 percentage points to 72%.” Resource:

  • Shaheen

    September 22, 2023 at 4:52 am

    I agree that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. I would continue to build on the progress that CIRA has already made in this area through their Community Investment program. I would look for ways to enable affordable, ubiquitous broadband as well as support the adoption of internet services by providing devices, awareness and training.

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