Digital Equity Perspectives, 2022

These 30 videos were produced to celebrate the 30th anniversary of NCF's founding on September 29, 1992.

We invited 30 digital equity advocates from across Canada to offer their perspectives on the state of digital equity, internet affordability and technology at the time of recording and what they see coming for the future. These reflect their job titles and opinions at the time of recording.

The contributors also recorded a number of predictions for the following 30 years in five-year increments, starting in 2027 running through to 2052. These predictions are a digital time capsule and will be released the year of the predictions. You can check out a compilation of the videos and see the full list of predictions here: www.ncf.ca/timecapsule.

All the videos were recorded between July and October 2022 and are a reflection of their times: during the lockdowns of COVID-19 video calls like these became a common way to work, attend school, and stay in touch with friends and family. The video and sound quality reflect the strength of the available internet connections during the interview and how it was recorded.

A lot has changed since 1992 and NCF has evolved alongside the internet itself. But we have retained our commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to the internet and helping them understand how to use it.

Nour Abdelaal
TMU Leadership Lab


Nour Abdelaal — TMU Leadership Lab

Nour (she/her) works at the intersection of research, public service, academia, and social advocacy. She is a Policy Analyst at the Leadership Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University and is passionate about advancing innovative policy solutions in the realms of technology, cybersecurity, and digital inclusion. Prior to joining the Leadership Lab, she was a Political Assistant at the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto, working to advance U.S.-Canada relations and provide research insights for the U.S. State Department’s technology and economic portfolio.


Eyra Abraham


Eyra Abraham — Lisnen

Eyra Abraham is a Founder/CEO of Lisnen, an app for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing that leverages Artificial intelligence (AI) to alert to sounds requiring immediate attention. Her mission is to advance equal access for people with disabilities at home, at work, and in public with technologies.


Natalie Campbell
Internet Society


Natalie Campbell — Internet Society

Natalie Campbell is the Senior Director, North American Government and Regulatory Affairs for the Internet Society. She is passionate about analyzing how government actions could impact the Internet and drive advocacy efforts to grow, protect, and defend an Internet for everyone.


Chris Cope
NCF Board


Chris Cope — NCF Board

Chris Cope is an Economic Development Officer in the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department at the City of Ottawa. He is currently file lead on the City's Community Improvement Plan (CIP) initiative as well as leading several other Economic Development initiatives and special projects, including Locate Ottawa, a geo-spatial site-selection tool. After joining the City in November of 2006, Cope lead a 5-year project to make high-speed Internet available to Ottawa’s rural residents and steered the plan to negotiate with Bell Canada, incumbent local exchange carrier, to make Ottawa a single long distance telephone calling area.

Chris was hired as Executive Director of National Capital FreeNet in 1997 continued in that role for three years. Chris has been on the Board of NCF since 2001 and currently holds the volunteer position Chairman of the Board. Cope also holds the position of Vice President and Treasurer, Telecommunities Canada, an organization that represents and promotes the Canadian community Networking movement. Cope is a past director of the Ottawa Humane Society and past Chair of the Nepean Environmental Committee, a citizen advisory committee of the former City of Nepean.


Tas Damen
Connected Canadians


Tas Damen — Connected Canadians

Tas Damen is a first-generation immigrant who holds a B.Sc. Honours in Computer Mathematics from Carleton University and a Graduate Certificate in IT Project Management from uOttawa. She is the CIO of Connected Canadians working on projects furthering digital accessibility for all seniors. Outside of Connected Canadians, she holds a full time role as a Principal Architect for McDonald's Global.

Cory Doctorow


Cory Doctorow — Writer

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist and journalist. He is the author of many books, most recently RADICALIZED and WALKAWAY, science fiction for adults; CHOKEPOINT CAPITALISM, nonfiction about monopoly and creative labor markets; IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel; and the picture book POESY THE MONSTER SLAYER. His latest novel is ATTACK SURFACE, a standalone adult sequel to LITTLE BROTHER. In 2020, he was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.


Rhea Doolan
First Nations Technology Council


Rhea Doolan — First Nations Technology Council

Rhea is a member of the Nisga’a Nation from the village of Gingolx, Ts’msyen from the village of Metlakatla, and has mixed European ancestry (Norwegian, Scottish and British). As Senior Policy Lead at the First Nations Technology Council, the central focus of her work is to provide support in national and provincial research, policy development, and advocacy efforts in order to advance a coordinated, comprehensive, and collaborative approach to achieving digital equity for Indigenous peoples in BC.


Michael Geist
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law


Michael Geist — University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law

Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law and is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School.


Anis Hanna
NCF Board


Anis Hanna — NCF Board

Anis Hanna is the current chair of the Board of National Capital FreeNet. He is Chief Operating Officer of Pleora Technologies. Anis has a Bachelor of Mathematics and Computer Science from Saint Mary's University, and holds a MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.


Maureen James
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)


Maureen James — Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

Maureen James manages the Community Investment Program at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), which funds community-led internet projects across Canada. With the upcoming release of CIRA's ‘How to Fund Digital Equity in Canada’ guide, her current obsession is working to build community and commitment around funding digital equity.


Theresa Kavanagh
Councillor - Bay Ward


Theresa Kavanagh — Councillor - Bay Ward

Councillor Theresa Kavanagh is honoured to be appointed the first Women and Gender Equity Liaison for City Council. “I’m proud to take on this important responsibility. We, as a City, need to look at what we can do to make Ottawa a City for all women. I look forward to finding ways to strengthen new and existing policies, and programs to remove barriers and create more inclusive and responsive services through a gender-equality lens.”

In 2010, Theresa ran for school board trustee in Bay Ward (Zone 4) on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, and was elected. She was re-elected in 2014 and, during her eight years on the Board, worked closely with families on the organization of school programs. She has served as Chair of the Board’s Budget and Audit Committees.

Erin Knight
Open Media


Erin Knight — Open Media

Vivek Krishnamurthy
CIPPIC - The Samuelson Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic


Vivek Krishnamurthy — CIPPIC - The Samuelson Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic

Vivek Krishnamurthy is the Samuelson-Glushko Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC).
Vivek’s teaching, scholarship, and clinical legal practice focus on the complex regulatory and human rights-related challenges that arise in cyberspace. He advises governments, activists, and companies on the human rights impacts of new technologies and is a frequent public commentator on emerging technology and public policy issues.
Vivek is currently a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and a Senior Associate of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.


Luc LaLande
Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (Ward 13)


Luc LaLande — Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (Ward 13)

As Innovator-in-Residence, Luc helps to introduce novel approaches to building and sustaining “flourishing” communities. As an experienced practitioner in the city’s innovation ecosystem, he is keen to empower more citizens in discovering their potential as innovators and local change-makers. These initiatives are collectively referred to as “Innovator 13”.


Prof. Tracey Lauriault
Carleton University - School of Journalism and Communication


Prof. Tracey Lauriault — Carleton University - School of Journalism and Communication

Dr Tracey P. Lauriault is Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communications, Faculty of Public Affairs and Cross Appointed to Digital Humanities, and is board member of the Institute for Data Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her ongoing work on open data, open government, big data, smart cities, and data preservation is international, transdisciplinary, and multi-sectoral. Her current research interests are in digital twins, data brokers, Indigenous data, disaggregated equity data and data governance. Lauriault is one of the founders of the field critical data studies, open data and Open Smart Cities, taking a data and technology governance approach to the shaping of large complex systems. As a publicly engaged scholar, she mobilizes her research into data and technology policy across sectors. As a data and technological citizen, she examines large and small data and technology systems with the hope of making them more just, inclusive, equitable and environmentally sustainable.


John Lawford
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)


John Lawford — Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

John Lawford is Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), a national non-profit organization that provides legal and research services on behalf of consumer interests, and, in particular, vulnerable consumer interests, concerning the provision of important public services.  Mr. Lawford has been with PIAC since July 2003 and was named Executive Director in September 2012.  Prior to coming to PIAC, Mr. Lawford was a research counsel at a major national law firm, specializing in medical-legal research.  Mr. Lawford was also Research Director at a major Ottawa-based litigation firm. Mr. Lawford was Special Projects Director for QUICKLAW Inc., a legal database company and now part of LexisNexis Canada, from 1992 to 1999.  He has an undergraduate degree in English and a Law degree from Queen's University. Mr. Lawford manages PIAC's advocacy and research in the areas of telecommunications, broadcasting, competition, e-commerce, privacy, air transportation and financial services law and policy from a consumer perspective.


Andrew Martey Asare
NCF Staff


Andrew Martey Asare — NCF Staff

Andrew started on our HelpDesk in 2015, later serving as a Business Analyst for a while before coming into his role as the former Service Operations Manager. In this role he managed the HelpDesk and System Development functions of NCF. His days were filled with finding targeted and system-wide solutions to member concerns. His preference is to implement system-wide improvements when possible. Now he is focused on helping NCF extend our network and our mandate to serve more members by examining how we introduce solutions that provide more digital equity in our communities.


Michel Mersereau
Faculty of Information, University of Toronto


Michel Mersereau — Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Michel’s research focuses on the role of the internet in facilitating the delivery of public and essential services, and in the political economy of digital equity and telecommunication policy.


Ray Noyes
ACORN Ottawa


Ray Noyes — ACORN Ottawa

I was born in 1956 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and lived in Dartmouth and on the Shearwater naval base until age 13. Dad was a navy man so when he was posted to Borden we had to go. After some trouble with bipolar disorder in my teens while I was saving for university, I ended up as a civil servant in Ottawa for ten years. I then went back to school and fell just short of a Master's degree due to my father's untimely suicide. In the years since I have battled BPD and worked in a university library. I joined ACORN in 2012 and have since become especially interested in their Internet for All campaign--which has landed me in a time capsule!


Zeina Osman
The International Development and Relief Foundation


Zeina Osman — The International Development and Relief Foundation

Zeina Osman is the Director, Giving and Impact at the International Development and Relief Foundation. She has served as the chair of Free Geek Toronto, a technology re-use social enterprise, and is a past Executive Director of CompuCorps, a tech re-use and digital skills charity in Ottawa.

Chandra Pasma
MPP Ottawa-West Nepean


Chandra Pasma — MPP Ottawa-West Nepean

Chandra Pasma is the current MPP for Ottawa-West Nepean. A member of the New Democratic Party of Ontario, she is the Critic for Poverty and Homelessness Reduction and a Member of the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. She was previously a researcher for the Canadian Union of Public Employees.


Madeleine Redfern
CanArctic Inuit Networks


Madeleine Redfern — CanArctic Inuit Networks

Madeleine Redfern is an Indigenous woman involved in high-tech and innovation. Actively involved in transformative technologies in telecommunications, transportation and energy. COO of CanArctic Inuit Networks Inc committed to building 3000 km of marine fibre optic cable into Canada's Arctic to significantly improve telecommunications in Inuit Nunangat and Nunavut. CEO of SednaLink Marine Systems which would transform segments of SednaLink fibre optic cable into a SMART (science monitoring and reliable telecommunications) to monitor marine climate changes, assist with environmental monitoring especially near marine protected areas plus assist in collecting marine intelligence.

David Ricottone
Ottawa Community Housing


David Ricottone — Ottawa Community Housing

Shelley Robinson
NCF Staff


Shelley Robinson — NCF Staff

Shelley has spent most of her career working in community access to communications, from running a community newspaper on the peaceline in West Belfast to working with community radio stations in Canada, Afghanistan and Rwanda. Internet seemed like the next obvious step. She joined National Capital FreeNet in 2015 and continues to be amazed by NCF member engagement and the organization’s rich history. Shelley is working towards an MBA in Community Economic Development and is obsessed with Murder, She Wrote and thrift shopping.


Yuka Sai
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)


Yuka Sai — Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

Yuka is a Staff Lawyer at PIAC, a national non-profit organization that advocates for the consumer interest in regulated industries like telecommunications. With PIAC, Yuka works on issues relating to wireless and wireline competition, wholesale policy, affordability, and accessibility of telecom services. At the University of Ottawa, Yuka earned her J.D. with specialization in Law and Technology.


Ken Sanderson
Teach for Canada


Ken Sanderson — Teach for Canada

Ken Sanderson is Anishinaabe, and a member of Pinaymootang First Nation. He has dedicated his career to enhancing opportunities for Indigenous communities. Ken brings 20 years of experience in executive leadership, organizational development, and growth management to his current role as Executive Director of Teach For Canada.

Ken Sanderson is also co-chair of Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. and a Board member for Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association. 
He has previously worked with the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Manitoba Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, and most recently, Broadband Communications North.


Andrew Sullivan
Internet Society


Andrew Sullivan — Internet Society

Andrew Sullivan joined the Internet Society as President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2018. He has worked on Internet infrastructure and standards since 2001. In 2012 he joined Dyn (later, Oracle Dyn) to establish Dyn Labs and then to manage the DNS development and architecture departments. His activities in this area led to him being appointed to the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) in 2013. His IAB colleagues elected him Chair in 2015 and 2016.

Andrew’s IAB tenure coincided with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition. Andrew was deeply involved in the community’s efforts around the transition and played a central role in its eventual success. His expertise in the area was acknowledged when he was invited to testify about the transition to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.


Mark Surman
Mozilla Foundation


Mark Surman — Mozilla Foundation

Anita Vandenbeld
MP Ottawa West - Nepean


Anita Vandenbeld — MP Ottawa West - Nepean

Anita Vandenbeld is a Canadian Member of Parliament, where she has represented Ottawa West-Nepean since 2015. Vandenbeld is currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Development.
During her previous mandate, she was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. Before that, she chaired the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights, and sat on the Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee and the Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics. From 2015 to September 2018 Vandenbeld chaired the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus. She was the founding chair of the all-party Democracy caucus. Vandenbeld has also served on the Committee on the Status of Women and the Procedure and House Affairs committee and was chair of the Special Committee on Pay Equity.


Bianca Wylie
Tech Reset Canada


Bianca Wylie — Tech Reset Canada

Bianca is a writer with a dual background in technology and public engagement.  She is a partner at Digital Public and a co-founder of Tech Reset Canada. She worked for several years in the tech sector in operations, infrastructure, corporate training, and product management. Then, as a professional facilitator, she spent several years co-designing, delivering and supporting public consultation processes for various governments and government agencies. She founded the Open Data Institute Toronto in 2014 and co-founded Civic Tech Toronto in 2015.Bianca’s writing has been published in a range of publications including: Boston Review, VICE, The Globe and Mail, and Toronto Life. She also posts on Medium. She is currently a member of the advisory boards for the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC), The Computational Democracy Project and the Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab and is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.


Thank you so to all those who contributed their time and thoughts: they will help keep us motivated about what we need to do, now and in the future. Thanks to Samaia Aidroos, funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program, and Andrew Martey Asare for interviewing these folks from a range of sectors and disciplines.

And thanks to Hot Shoe Productions, a local social enterprise, for editing all the videos.