Category Archives: resources

“The gift of information” – Bruce Buffalo

Summary: The Al Jazeera piece follows Bruce Buffalo as he attempts to bridge the Digital Divide in his community of Maskwacis. Buffalo embodies a Robinhood-type persona by “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” regarding broadband access. He runs a single-person non-profit project hoping to gain better internet access for Maskwacis. The video speaks to nationwide issues that stem from colonization, such as drug and alcohol addiction and loss of identity. The video also follows Bruce as he attends the Digital Futures conference in Canada, his worries about being the only “First Nations” person there, and his need for donations to complete his project. He is pleasantly surprised to find people who want to help fight the Digital Divide in Canada. By the end of the video, Bruce is successful in creating his access point and expresses further dreams of building the network from within the community and offering jobs to locals. However, a captioned note at the end reads that Bruce could not secure funding to maintain the access point and had to shut it down.

Evaluation: The article offers a life perspective of how the digital divide impacts Canadian Indigenous communities, especially those who live on reserve. Buffalo speaks candidly about the government actively avoiding putting better access in his community even though it is in the middle of the province of Alberta. The video offers several clips of Buffalo in the community spreading his message, as well as him trying to create ways to gain access for the community. The Al Jazeera video is raw and offers a remarkable firsthand account of the Digital Divide in Canada, near us in Saskatchewan.

2016 Issues Still Problematic Today?

Muzaffar, S. (2016, December 28). Opinion | what good is declaring broadband a “basic service” without regulating retail prices?: Opinion | CBC news. CBCnews.

Summary: The opinion article discusses the 2016 Canadian legislation around the basic right to broadband as simply a target and not a requirement for Canadian citizens. The author also mentions the government’s inability to set price regulations for telecommunication services. The article further describes the 2016 climate of Canada being anti-immigrant and having poor previous records of supporting Indigenous communities. There are further comments about access needing proper infrastructure, which the author notes does not exist.

Evaluation: The author of the opinion piece is the founder of TechGirls Canada (TGC) and has various author qualifications in the field she is discussing, highlighting her ethos to speak on the matter. This article openly describes itself as an opinion piece, meaning their statements are biased. The author is upset by the lack of regulations surrounding the 2016 policy. However, their opinions are still relevant today due to the telecommunication companies’ monopoly over Canada. The author had little trust before writing this piece, which made their opinions more negative.

Mathematically Considering the Digital Divide

Howard, P. N., Busch, L., & Sheets, P. (2010). Comparing digital divides: Internet access and Social Inequality in Canada and the United States. Canadian Journal of Communication, 35(1), 109–128.

Summary: The research utilizes Gini coefficients to demonstrate how Canada has made drastic changes in closing the Digital Divide, whereas the gap is still wide in the USA. They argue that Canada’s creation of culturally relevant content is partly the reason for the closing gap. The article further offers historical context relevant to Canadian and American telecommunications and information about previous studies that measured the Digital Divide.

Evaluation: The article is mostly fun of aging data because it was published in 2010. While much of the historical context about the Digital Divide between the two countries is accurate, the article must present more evidence to support that Canada is closing the gap. As of 2024, the programs mentioned in the article are few and far. Many initiatives are no longer happening or have been replaced. However, suppose you are someone who enjoys looking at graphs and figures. In that case, this may be an interesting read from an economic and mathematical perspective.

Food or Wifi?

OperationMaple. (2014, July 30). Starving for the internet. YouTube.

Summary: In today’s climate, it has become a fundamental human right to access the internet. Everything we need to do must happen online. Applying for a job? Well, that happens online. If you do not have a job, you may not have the funds to have Wi-Fi access to apply for one. People are having to choose between having the internet and having food. The video discusses a campaign by Acorn Canada to help make the internet more affordable to those who currently cannot afford it.

Evaluation: The nonprofit organization created the video, providing a biased opinion. It was also older, from nine years ago. However, the problem persists today in 2024. There is still a monopoly on services provided in Canada and limited competition. It is reminiscent of the few airplane companies on Canadian soil. No competition means they can charge insane fees, and people are left with nothing to do but pay them.

Canadian Digital Divide – Tech and Inequality

Turner, J. (2023, March 14). Bridging the gap: Unraveling the digital divide. Busrides.

Summary: “The digital divide refers to the gap between individuals or communities that have access to modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and those that do not.” (Turner, 2023). The article titled “Bridging the Gap: Unraveling the Digital Divide“ by Joshua Turner in 2023 addresses the digital divide global issue that connects access to the internet and low incomes, which in turn perpetuates the digital divide. Four common themes connected to his issue are lack of access to fast internet, limited technology training, short life of devices, and language barriers (Turner, 2023). The digital divide impacts Canadians, especially those in rural areas. The article offers four future-oriented solutions for Canadians: increasing technology access, offering training, supporting equitable policy, and investing in the private sector.

Evaluation: The article is connected to the Government of Canada website. It is posted in the Trending Technology blog space. The information on the blog space offers the amount of time it takes to read the article, which is 5 minutes. It was posted nine months ago, which means the information is relevant to today’s social climate. There are linked courses at the end of the blog that encourage users to become more digitally literate, helping to mitigate the digital divide. Turner also offers helpful secondary resources for continued research into the global issue. However, upon clicking Turner’s name at the end of the article, only other articles he has written are associated, and there is no biographical information.

Reflection: I believe the information in this article is relevant to my research on my debate topic, “Technology has not led to a more equitable society.” The article is related to my classmates’ climate, being related to Canada, as well as my experiences living in China. The digital divide perpetuates inequality in the world but is often portrayed as helping bridge the gap.


The Age of Surveillance

(StableDiffusionXL, 2024)

Today, a classmate (Savannah) shared a post linking to an article about the Age of IoT, also called The Age of Surveillance. It was an exciting take on the term coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 relating to supply and demand. Living in a society that fits the concept of The Age of Surveillance has been eye-opening regarding the give and take of technology advancements. The way I live in China is connected to technology and surveillance. I pay with my phone, book tickets, make reservations, contact friends, work, and more every day in China. Returning to Canada often feels like a culture shock when I don’t have access to technology and slightly more freedom from surveillance. I have learned that being a good citizen in China doesn’t worry me regarding surveillance. What do I have to hide? I like the convenience I can receive from my surveyed technology. It is the way the future is going.