Community Supports

Closing the Digital Divide in Timiskaming 

There is a digital divide in the District of Timiskaming: a discrepancy between those who have access to information and communication technologies and the benefits they provide and those who don’t. This divide can be the result of many factors, including high costs for technology and online access and limited internet connectivity in rural Northern Ontario. This digital divide leaves many without access to digitally delivered health and well-being programs, services, and information.

To learn more about how access to digital devices and services impacts your health, please see the 2022 provincial election primers on this topic:

Thanks to funding from the District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board, United Way, Temiskaming Foundation, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Social Services Relief Funding, and partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Timiskaming Health Unit and various local community partners launched the Closing the Digital Divide pilot project on Tuesday October 13, 2020, and it ran until March 31, 2022.   

Unfortunately, we currently do not have additional funding to continue this project, and as such we are no longer able to take applications for devices/services.

The Closing the Digital Divide project aimed to address inequity through the provision of technology and Internet to families living with low income and individuals and seniors who experience barriers to access, as identified through our partnering agencies. Those who participated in the program were able to access a device (a smartphone, tablet, or laptop) and in some cases data packages for a predetermined amount of time.

401 community members in our district who experience barriers to accessing technology.This pilot project distributed devices and /or services to 401 community members in our district who experience barriers to accessing technology. When counting for other household members who benefitted from these devices and/or services, we estimate that 723 people in total were helped by this project.  

While the project is over, we encourage community members to continue to access the resources developed for this project:

Adjusted Reporting Numbers

It should be noted after the previous analysis was conducted, THU was notified that an additional 3 clients never retrieved their assigned devices. This changed the final number of unique clients from 401 to 398. The approximate proportions of clients who were classified as making $25,000 or less per year and people 50 years of age or older remained unchanged.  

To learn more about the impacts the Closing the Digital Divide project had on the community, please see the video story created in partnership with community referral partners:  


For more information on the impact of the closing the Digital Divide project, please see our project results overview slides or the full outcome evaluation report.

Overview presentation: Closing the Digital Divide in Timiskaming (Final External Presentation) - YouTube

Full Report: Closing the Digital Divide in Timiskmaing - Evaluation Report (June 23, 2022)


Food security and food banks for Timiskaming communities

The situation we are facing with COVID-19 is unique. Understandably, the response can be overwhelming, and, at times, it may be hard to know what to do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Measures to protect our population from COVID-19 include making sure people are ready in case the illness spreads largely in our communities.

To help guide our decisions around purchasing and to ensure there is enough food for all in our communities, we have provided some recommendations. This includes information about available local food bank services.


Paid Sick Leave

Paid Sick Leave Saves Lives - Time to Close the Gap

Learn More about Paid Sick Leave

A Paid Sick Leave is indispensable, urgent, and required to protect our community against communicable diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Staying home when sick is one of the most effective ways to slow down the spread of COVID-19 or any other communicable diseases.

Many people in Timiskaming must make a tough decision when denied a paid sick leave: go to work and risk spreading COVID-19, or stay home and face financial hardships. Paid sick leave is essential to protect everyone in our community. 

The COVID19 pandemic has exposed the gap in access to paid sick leave, especially for low-income, precariously employed and healthcare workers who cannot work remotely, many of whom are considered essential but do not have access to paid sick leave.

For essential businesses to remain open during the pandemic, essential workers need to continue to go to work. Given the risks to their own well-being that these employees face, every effort must be made to protect their health and safety and that of their families, co-workers, and the public in general. The Timiskaming Health Unit is sensitive to small business employers who will need support from the Ontario government to implement a permanent paid sick leave.  

What Can You Do? Paid sick leave is important for public health. Learn about what you can do to implement a permanent paid sick leave for all and protect the community against communicable diseases like COVID-19.

To Learn More

If you would like to talk about or share your thoughts about paid sick leave for people in Timiskaming, contact your MPP