Panellists explore strategies for bridging the so-called “digital divide” by connecting communities through online technologies, Gatineau, Que. This session is part of an annual conference co-hosted by Canada 2020 and Crossing Boundaries.
Former Industry minister Brian Tobin serves as moderator and makes opening remarks, focusing on his work with the National Broadband Task Force. The Task Force was a government initiative, undertaken in 2001, that aimed to improve access to high-speed internet across Canada.
Joanna Ashworth, director of programs at the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Centre for Dialogue, speaks about the “Imagine BC” public dialogue series hosted by SFU. Dan Bader (a retired corporate chief information officer for the Government of Alberta), discusses the impact of Alberta SuperNet (a high-speed broadband network), which was built to connect communities and encourage economic development. Pierre C. Bélanger (a communications professor at the University of Ottawa) focuses on obstacles that are delaying nation-wide connectivity, including the rising cost of internet access and usage. After speaking, panellists field questions from conference attendees.