TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2020 — Seneca is contributing to the City of Toronto’s response to COVID-19 with two applied research projects focused on helping vulnerable communities access better broadband and government incentives.
The two Seneca projects are among eight resulting from a partnership among the City, Toronto-based postsecondary institutions, the federal and provincial government, and community partners, working collaboratively to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery.
“Seneca is delighted to partner with the City of Toronto, provincial and federal governments, our postsecondary colleagues and community partners on research that helps in the response to COVID-19,” said Seneca President David Agnew. “Faculty and our students have been critical resources during the pandemic, providing creative solutions for economic recovery and supporting those in need.”
Seneca’s research projects include a partnership with Ryerson University, York University, the University of Toronto and Humber College to identify the challenges associated with digital exclusion of seniors.
The project, funded by the City and RBC Royal Bank, will evaluate who is underserved by digital infrastructure, which communities cannot afford Internet access and what factors limit Internet use, such as digital literacy, lack of private work-spaces and outdated hardware.
Seneca’s second research project, in collaboration with Prosper Canada and funded by the City and Mitacs, will build understanding about barriers faced by low-income Torontonians when attempting to file tax returns. By not filing returns, these residents miss out on government benefits and credits. Research will include evaluating innovations in tax filing globally and consulting with low-income Toronto residents, with results helping the City achieve goals associated with its Poverty Reduction Strategy.
This research partnership between the City and the eight Toronto-based postsecondary institutions was announced Monday by Toronto Mayor John Tory. The priority research areas were chosen by the Toronto Office of Partnerships and Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild.