Char­ity phone rates now avail­able from Bell

The Compass - - NEWS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa,jenk­

The tele­com gi­ant Bell Aliant has be­gun of­fer­ing char­i­ties and not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions in New­found­land and Labrador a cheaper rate for phone ser­vices.

As of May 30, 2014 the phone com­pany stopped charg­ing char­i­ta­ble groups a busi­ness rate of ap­prox­i­mately $53 per month for a sin­gle phone line for a more af­ford­able rate of around $27 a month (num­bers given to a Com­pass reporter by an Aliant em­ployee July 25, 2014).

Other prov­inces in Canada have had char­i­ta­ble rates for years, but news broke in Novem­ber 2013 that this province was not re­ceiv­ing the same types of of­fers.

This be­came an is­sue for a group in a small com­mu­nity on the Bay de Verde Penin­sula.

A woman died at the Red Head Cove com­mu­nity cen­tre last year where there is no cell phone ser­vice and, at that time, no land­line.

Lo­cal vol­un­teer Mary Riggs con­tacted Bell af­ter the in­ci­dent to in­stall a phone so calling an am­bu­lance wouldn’t be an is­sue again.

Riggs was happy to get quoted a good rate for a not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, but when she was called back a short time later, an Aliant worker told her the price had dou­bled be­cause there was no char­ity price of­fer for New­found­land and Labrador.

With that re­sponse, Riggs took the is­sue pub­lic, ex­press­ing con­cern that this province was not get­ting the same treat­ment as oth­ers in the coun­try.

An email re­sponse from Bell Aliant spokesper­son Katie Burgess on July 17, 2014 gave some back­ground in­for­ma­tion into why the province was ex­cluded to the of­fers in the past.

“New­found­land and Labrador did not re­ceive this rate un­til May be­cause be­fore phone com­pa­nies amal­ga­mated, the phone com­pany which ser­viced the Mar­itimes had ap­plied for and re­ceived per­mis­sion from the CRTC to of­fer a non­profit rate for groups, how­ever, such a rate had never been ar­ranged with the CRTC for New­found­land and Labrador un­til re­cently,” she said.

Riggs is happy with the change, and is pleased she spoke up.

“One person can make a dif­fer­ence,” she said.

The of­fer is now avail­able to all not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions with a reg­is­tered char­ity num­ber.

For those in­ter­ested in re­ceiv­ing this new rate, call 1-800-663-2600 with your com­pany or or­ga­ni­za­tion regis­tra­tion num­ber for eli­gi­bil­ity.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

A VISIT FROM THE DIREC­TOR — The Com­pass of­fice in Car­bon­ear wel­comed Gor­don Brew­er­ton (mid­dle) on July 29. Brew­er­ton is the new Tele­gram pub­lisher and direc­tor of op­er­a­tions for the NL week­lies. Pre­vi­ously, Brew­er­ton served as group pub­lisher with TC Me­dia, Sun Me­dia and Tor-star/Metroland. Brew­er­ton is mak­ing the rounds to many of the other 12 weekly pa­pers in New­found­land and Labrador, but his first stop was at The Com­pass. Here, Com­pass man­ager Kevin His­cock (left) ex­plains some of the his­tory of Wa­ter Street to Brew­er­ton and Tele­gram man­ag­ing edi­tor Steve Bartlett.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

PRAC­TICE MAKES PER­FECT — The Bay de Grave Fire De­part­ment, along with Moores Am­bu­lance and Broughton’s Funeral Ser­vice, held a mock dis­as­ter at All Hal­lows Ele­men­tary in North River on July 26. Fea­tur­ing a three au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent, per­son­nel on scene went through the steps it would take if such an ac­ci­dent ac­tu­ally oc­curred. The two vic­tims, from left, are played by Krista Ben­nett and Rod­ney Miller. At­tend­ing to them, from left, are Capt. David Ped­dle, para­medic Matthew Stride, train­ing of­fi­cer Ger­ald Ben­nett, fire­fighter Paul Bishop and Fire Chief Jeremy Hall.

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