Constance Lafontaine awarded the Engaged Scholar Award

Concordia awarded ACT Associate Director Constance Lafontaine the Engaged Scholar award. The award highlights the work that Lafontaine has been doing within ACT at Concordia University, and her contribution to the greater Montreal community. Lafontaine has been actively involved with community organizations for years. Since 2013, she began working with Groupe Harmonie on organizing a series of digital workshop for seniors and she eventually joined the organization’s board in 2016. As she accepted the award, Lafontaine reminded Concordia that her work is not done. Senior isolation, access to digital technology, and challenges of telecom affordability are just some of the issues on her mind. ACT is ecstatic for the work that Constance has done in Montreal communities, where she has spearheaded countless projects, meetings, interventions and events. Her commitment to conduct meaningful community research has been imperative in shaping much of ACT’s work as well as guiding other emerging researchers in the process of community engaged scholarship. We celebrate this incredible accomplishment, congratulating and thanking Constance for her phenomenal work.

Celebrating Julia Henderson’s Election

ACT celebrates as post-doctoral fellow Julia Henderson has been elected as a member-at-large of the North American Network in Aging Studies (NANAS). Henderson brings an energetic and professional attitude to the position with a focus on bringing awareness of age studies to the theatre and performance disciplines. Involved in NANAS for some time, she earned the Emerging Scholar Conference Paper award at the joint ENAS-NANAS conference held at Trent University in 2019. When asked her thoughts on this position she replied, “I am delighted to join the NANAS Governing Council as Vice Chair and look forward to working with the new Chair Kate de Medeiros and the other council members over the coming year. I am both excited and daunted to take the lead on developing strategies for NANAS to address and expand diversity and inclusion at this critical time.” We look forward to seeing the work she will do in this new position and congratulate her on such a wonderful achievement. Finally for those of you who are members, Henderson says, “I invite NANAS members who would like to join me in these efforts to contact me directly at”.

ACT develops flyer for community resources in NDG, Montreal for COVID-19

In collaboration with community organizations, ACT has developed a bilingual flyer that outlines COVID-19 community resources in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) neighbourhood of Montréal, Québec. ACT has been working with allies in the community to develop an outreach strategy, especially to reach older adults who are not online. This flyer is currently being distributed at COVID-19 testing clinics, and will soon be distributed door-to-door to the 35,000 households in the neighbourhood.


New report on the affordability of mobile services in Canada

ACT researchers Catherine Middleton, Kim Sawchuk, Constance Lafontaine, Scott DeJong and Julia Henderson submitted a report as part of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) review of the affordability of mobile devices in Canada (2019-57) on October 23. ACT researchers conducted 62 interviews with older adults in four provinces over the span of four months and drew from data gathered in the ACT longitudinal study. Their analysis suggests that the current pricing system makes mobile services unaffordable to many older Canadians, particularly to older adults living with low income. You can download it here (PDF).

The October 2019 report follows complementary initial report submitted on May 15 2019, available here (PDF).

New report to British Columbia government on mobile services

ACT researchers were invited by the British Columbia government to submit an intervention as part of the province’s public engagement and legislative review to identify ways to improve cell phone contract and billing transparency. The ACT report, titled “Fair Sales Practices and Affordable Services: The Cell Phone Needs of Canadian Seniors,” emphasizes the need for challenging the current telecommunication landscape, ending aggressive and misleading sales practices, and providing affordable mobile services to all Canadians.