TELUS’ Internet and Mobility for Good programs help new refugees arriving in Canada get connected
Refugees are 50 per cent less likely than the general population to have an Internet-enabled phone and 29 per cent have no phone at all; TELUS’ programs for Government Assisted Refugees are helping families begin their new lives in Canada
Vancouver - Already supporting more than 3,200 Government Assisted Refugees across Canada, TELUS today announced that it will now support even more government assisted refugees arriving in Canada with low cost home Internet and mobility plans as well as free mobile devices, in partnership with its expanded network of Resettlement Assistance Program service provider organizations.
According to the United Nations, refugees are 50 per cent less likely than the general population to have an Internet-enabled phone, and 29 per cent of refugee households have no phone at all. TELUS’ programs for Government Assisted Refugees are helping families begin their new lives in Canada, enabling them to get connected to their friends, family and new support networks, as well as access essential services and critical online resources. The program is available across Canada where TELUS home Internet and mobility services are offered.
“At a time when the human connection has never been more important, TELUS remains committed to ensuring citizens from coast to coast, including those who are new to our country, can stay connected to the people and information that matter the most,” said Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer, TELUS. “For over two decades, our global leading network has enabled people in Canada to work and learn remotely, apply for critical government resources, receive medical support and stay in touch with family and friends. Now we are providing much-needed connectivity support to government assisted refugees, many of whom have been forced to leave their country, seeking a new home in Canada, away from violence, persecution, war or disaster. This initiative will provide these new members of our community with access to the vital tools and resources they need to begin a productive and fulfilling life in Canada.”
TELUS has partnered with 13 Resettlement Assistance Program service provider organizations across the country, some of which include Immigrant Services Society of B.C., Inter Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, Immigrant Services Calgary, London Cross Cultural Learning Centre, Rainbow Railroad and CREDIL, with plans to partner with additional service provider organizations across the country and to expand the Connecting for Good for Government Assisted Refugees program to more communities.
"Rainbow Railroad is grateful for our longstanding partnership with TELUS to support our work in helping at-risk LGBTQI+ individuals resettle in Canada,” said Scott Ferguson, Director of Partnerships. “The discounted services provided through the Mobility for Good and Internet for Good for Government Assisted Refugees program provides much needed resources for newcomers as they get settled in their new communities and begin their lives in Canada, where they can live openly and authentically."
Mobility for Good for Government Assisted Refugees is available nationwide and includes mobility services for $25 a month and a free certified pre-owned device. Internet for Good for Government Assisted Refugees plans start at $10/month for 2 years and are available in British Columbia, Alberta, and parts of Quebec, where TELUS offers home Internet services. Currently, the Internet for Good program offers speeds up to 50 Mbps, with a 150Mbps plan set to launch in July.
In addition to supporting Government Assisted Refugees through its Internet and Mobility for Good programs, and as an extension of this announcement, TELUS is also working with ISSofBC to sponsor an immigrant family, enabling them to establish their roots in Canada. This includes more than $50,000 in funding to assist the family during their first year in Canada, as well as support from TELUS team members who have been volunteering as "settlement mentors," virtually meeting with the family on a regular basis as they prepare for their life transition and move to Canada.
“ISSofBC is pleased to partner with TELUS in helping to build a more welcoming and inclusive community for refugees settling in BC,” said Chris Friesen, Chief Operating Officer, ISSofBC. “For many recently arrived refugees, the ability to contact loved ones and friends overseas is so important. TELUS, through the mobility and internet for good programs provides an important support. We are also grateful for our partnership in privately sponsoring a refugee family from abroad. This sponsorship and mentoring program is unique in Canada where the private sector and an immigrant serving agency have come together in a small but tangible effort to create an opportunity for one of millions of displaced people.”
Earlier this year, TELUS’ Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Community Board provided MakeWay Charitable Society with a grant to support their Welcome Groups for Newcomer Youth program. The funding will match refugee newcomer youth with volunteers for six months of settlement and integration support in order to provide them with guidance, training and access to resources to build their capacity and address their unique needs.
TELUS’ programming in support of Government Assisted Refugees is part of its broader Connecting for Good portfolio of programs that gives people in need access to TELUS’ world-leading technology. To learn more about TELUS Internet and Mobility for Good for Government Assisted Refugees, visit telus.com/GovAssistedRefugees.
Resettlement agencies interested in becoming a partner can contact TELUS at [email protected].