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Communities across Canada to come together for Stop The Meter National Day of Action

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Through local meet ups, Internet supporters from communities across Canada are participating in a National Day of Action on Saturday, Feb. 26. Canadians will creatively educate members of their local community, and encourage their friends and neighbours to add their names to the nearly half-a-million who signed the petition online at StopTheMeter.ca.

Thousands of pink "Data Usage Tickets" have been printed and will be given out to unsuspecting civilians accessing the Internet in coffee shops and other public places.

Communities will engage in a friendly competition to see which city can get the most signatures, or give out the most tickets... all in the name of stopping the meter on Internet use.

Who:

The National Day of Action is organized by local residents, with support from OpenMedia.ca & Canadians Advocating for Political Participation (CAPP).

When:

Feb. 26, 2011 - 1:00 PM local time

Where:

Over 20 communities across Canada. See http://openmedia.ca/local for a list of participating cities. Those who can't make it out are encouraged to use Stop The Meter resources to reach out online.

Why:

After the CRTC made a decision that made the Internet less affordable and accessible, nearly half-a-million Canadians signed an online petition calling on Ottawa to "Stop The Meter" and end Internet caps. Due to the public pressure, the CRTC was forced to reconsider its decision. This was a big win for the pro-Internet community, but this issue is far from over. As the review of Internet metering, which is open for public comments, approaches, Canadians can be sure that big telecom companies are exerting significant pressure on the CRTC to move forward with less affordable Internet access. Phone and cable companies have unleashed a deep-pocketed public relations campaign designed to confuse the public about new Internet usage fees. The Stop The Meter National Day Of Action will notify decision makers that citizens will accept nothing less than an unmetered Internet.

"Supporters from across the country told us they weren't satisfied simply signing our petition," said Steve Anderson, OpenMedia.ca's national coordinator, "they wanted to get active locally. All we did was connect our supporters with each other and provide a hand when asked. It should be a fun day for all."

Background information:

OpenMedia.ca is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization working to advance and support an open and innovative communications system in Canada. Our primary goal is to increase public awareness and informed participation in Canadian media, cultural, information, and telecommunication policy formation. We strive to make media and telecommunications more transparent, with broader and more representative public participation. Our job is to shine a spotlight on key media policy developments, and provide essential tools and information for citizen engagement.

Canadians Advocating Political Participation (CAPP) is a national grassroots network of citizens committed to improving the state of democracy in our country.

Forged out of the public reaction to the prorogation of Parliament on Dec. 30, 2009, our members come from all political parties and none, and from every walk of life. While we come from a wide range of backgrounds CAPP's core values and mission is non-partisan.

Through education and active engagement in democratic activities local chapters of CAPP strive to encourage Canadians to take ownership of their communities.

Stop The Meter : In October, Canadians were outraged by the news that the CRTC had decided to allow Bell and other big Internet service providers (ISPs) to impose new fees on independent ISPs - usage-based billing. Now every Internet user in Canada is likely to feel the sting of a less affordable Internet, and a less competitive Internet service market. Recognizing the importance of this issue, OpenMedia.ca launched the Stop The Meter campaign.

Since its inception, this multi-platform petition, based at StopTheMeter.ca and in French at http://openmedia.ca/compteur, become a record breaker and a game changer. Nearly half-a-million names have now been added to the website, Facebook, Twitter, and in print.

For more information please contact:

Glyn Lewis - glyn.l m [@]canadaparticipates.ca

Lindsey Pinto - lindsey [@] openmedia.ca

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