Rogers Communications is donating phones and plans to women and children at 56 B.C. shelters — including the Kelowna Women’s Shelter.
The telecommunications company made the announcement on Monday (April 26), that it’s expanding a program launched last year to support more women fleeing domestic violence across the province.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rogers launched a national program with Women’s Shelters Canada to provide hundreds of phones and plans to more than one hundred shelters and transition houses, including those across British Columbia. The company will start by offering 5 phones and plans to each shelter, which staff will distribute to women as needed.
With growing waitlists for women’s shelters and transition houses, crisis workers say these devices will continue to save women’s lives by keeping women safely connected to critical resources, particularly during lockdowns. The phone donation program is provided in collaboration with Motorola and LG.
The phones will be provided to women’s shelters in Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Squamish, Trail, Castlegar, Vancouver, Chilliwack, Hope, Surrey, Richmond, Abbotsford, Mission, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Sooke, and Victoria.
Rogers recently announced it is expanding wireless network coverage, including 5G, in British Columbia to close gaps along two key corridors, including Highway 14 and Highway 16, known as the Highway of Tears.
For decades, this highway has been the tragic location of many missing and murdered women, particularly Indigenous women, who were unable to call for help due to coverage gaps. By the time construction of these new towers is complete along Highway 16 late next year, the project will provide more than 250 kilometres of cellular highway coverage between Prince George and Prince Rupert, improving safety for everyone, including women whose lives may depend on being able to make an emergency call.