Mr. Speaker, imagine a child trying to do homework these days without the Internet. His classmates have the biggest library in the history of the world, and he is stuck with a few textbooks from school. That is why Rogers and Telus have both announced that they will offer $10-a-month Internet to the less fortunate.
How can the companies ensure the discount goes to families that actually need it without demanding a person’s private financial records? Telus has now suggested using the child benefit mail-out that the government sends out twice a year. An insert in the mailer would provide families earning less than $33,000 with a password to sign up for ultra-low cost Internet.
CRA already has the data and already pays for the postage and mailing, so the cost would be very minimal. Families could choose to sign-on voluntarily and confidentially, and no government data would be provided to the companies. This could be expanded to word processors, ebook libraries, and other learning tools.
Low-cost, free-enterprise solutions like this one are the future of poverty fighting. Let us embrace them to help the underdogs among us work, learn, and achieve great things.