When it comes to picking battles I pick the small ones. I can’t do too much to help the world’s poor or starving; I’m not great at fighting for social justice. Important struggles are just too overwhelming – I support causes, I just don’t take much action.
When it comes to these ‘small battles’, I rely on letters to the editor. I suspect as I grow older I will be one of those folks that the one letter/2 months limit was created for, writing more and more letters since anytime I open the local paper there’s someone with a totally unfounded argument that just irks me. Again, of all the issues I could write about, it’s the ones that really aren’t life-and-death that I choose to address. Some of you may remember that almost two years ago I had my first letter to the editor printed. Well, today I had my second published, and it even made “Letter of the Day“.
Here is the edited version. I’d like to point out that my closing paragraph was actually a lot more eloquent, but the editors got to it – it may sound disjointed but it is in direct reference to the original letter. Oh and I totally recognize that the ‘digital divide’ does exist, even in Canada, but my focus is on my own region:
Like it or not, Internet is with us in a big way
Regarding Barbara Shaw’s Dec. 4 letter, Not All Have Internet, while I can understand that she is personally frustrated with the assumption that everyone has Internet, it is a fact that the majority of Canadian residents do indeed have access to the Internet.
According to the 2005 Canadian Internet Use Survey (StatsCan), 71.8 per cent of Ontarians have Internet access, the majority do access it from home, and these numbers are higher within our region. And undoubtedly, Internet access will have increased in the past two years.
I agree that having personal Internet access is not a necessity, however, everyone — including the unemployed, the homeless and new immigrants — deserves the opportunity to use technology to access government information services, to search for work and housing, or even to discover a forum to share their experiences.
Public libraries, as well as other locations such as The Working Centre, do provide Internet access and many of these places offer introductory computer lessons, including training on how to create an e-mail account.
Despite Shaw’s concern, these services actually assist in reducing the gap between the “have” and “have-not” groups.
The Internet is just another communication vehicle, and if people can’t find out about school closures online, there are also the radio, TV, and telephone.