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 that the discount goes to families who 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 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, e-book 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.