When we think of well-being, what generally springs to mind is access to the basics of housing, food, health, education, and a decent income. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the profile of another critical socioeconomic marker: digital connectivity. Who has reliable access to high-speed internet? Who is able to adopt and use digital tools when they’re available?

During periods of lockdown and other restrictions, the question of connectivity has determined who can go to school, set up a business, shop, see loved ones, and attend medical appointments. But the areas of concern extend far beyond the context of the pandemic. As Canada transitions further to a digital economy to ensure economic growth and global competitiveness, the negative implications for citizens who cannot meaningfully take part will worsen. In this feature series, experts from a variety of sectors explore the state of digital connectivity and inclusion in Canada.

Financial support for this series was provided in part by TELUS. As described in our Commitment to Readers, sponsorships are handled separately from our independent editorial process.

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