Digital Equity should be a right

September 28, 2020

No matter who ends up forming BC’s next government this Fall, MOSAIC will continue to push for an end to the digital divide that places an unnecessary burden on vulnerable populations.

MOSAIC is co-signatory, along with other allies, to a just-released BC Poverty Reduction letter calling on the Province to provide $10-a-month Internet access to all living below the poverty line and anyone accessing education in B.C., regardless of immigration or citizenship status.

Olga Stachova, MOSAIC CEO, is quoted in the news release accompanying the letter, stating: “The pandemic has placed a spotlight on the digital divide for immigrant and refugee communities. Without access to high-speed Internet services, many newcomer families cannot use key government, health care, employment, and settlement services that are largely provided online due to the pandemic. For newcomer families with children, it can be impossible to participate in online learning and access vital and timely information without fast, at-home Internet services. This is an urgent issue that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our society.”

Digital access also came out as a strong issue in a just-released MOSAIC survey of 500 newcomer families with school-age children, with 72% of respondents feeling pressured to send their children back to in-person classes, in spite of potential health risk to the family, due to struggles around remote learning and digital access. Stachova also presented in June to the Province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, making recommendations on key areas, including a call for digital equity.

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