Five Ws with the TIAs Sponsors: TELUS

In the lead-up to the 2020 Technology Impact Awards, BC Tech is profiling all four of the event’s Platinum and Gold sponsors. These invaluable supporters enable our work in the community, and some of them have been with us since the start.


As well as being a 2020 TIAs finalist in the “Anchor Success” category, Vancouver-based TELUS is continuing its long history of fostering innovation and economic growth in B.C. by supporting our most important annual fundraiser as a Platinum Sponsor.

“TELUS believes in the power of technology and innovation as tools to help do good in both our local communities and across our entire province,” said Rich Osborn, Managing Partner,  TELUS Ventures (the strategic investment arm for TELUS Corporation). “Through our work with BC Tech, the two groups have a unique opportunity to collaborate as leaders sharing our collective missions and celebrating the accomplishments being made by the many companies and organizations that contribute to the growth and development of our tech ecosystem.”

This year, TELUS is leading that ecosystem as it works to overcome a new and unprecedented challenge. “We are heartened by the countless ways we’ve seen our team members step up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through incredible grit, innovation and spirited teamwork across every area of our business,” Rich added.

Here are just some of the ways TELUS has been stepping up as Canada recovers from the crisis:

Who: : The safety, health and productivity of all Canadians is being supported by a $150 million investment to combat COVID-19 using its human, technological and financial resources. Frontline healthcare workers such as family physicians, for instance, are being supported by TELUS’ Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and a new Virtual Visits functionality which has been deployed to 26,000 users across the country. Since launch in April 2020, it has been used to schedule more than 30,000 virtual consultations. The company’s Mobility for Good program has also provided a credit for two months of free wireless service to thousands of healthcare workers at 126 hospitals, long-term care facilities and health facilities.

What: : To help alleviate the financial pressure felt by many of its customers, TELUS is taking steps such as waiving home Internet data overage charges and wireless roaming fees, and providing low-income families with two months of free service.

TELUS has also contributed $20 million from its Friendly Future Foundation and Community Boards to help build public healthcare capacity and support community-based initiatives focused on food security, outreach to isolated seniors, virtual education programs, and mental health initiatives.

When: : Since early March, TELUS has donated 10,000-plus free mobile devices and rate plans to hundreds of organizations across the country. A month later, on April 17, it launched its Stay Connected webpage to celebrate its employees and highlight the positive difference they’re making across Canada. The site provides resources to help Canadians stay safe, informed, healthy and inspired, such as the “Stay Strong” video which quickly became the most watched clip in the company’s history.

The Stay Connected site also features free online resources to support at-home learning for kindergarten through Grade 12. Until June 30, TELUS is working with Apple to provide LTE-connected iPads to school boards in Alberta, B.C. and Quebec.

Where: : TELUS has enabled thousands of Canadians to stay home and stay safe amid the pandemic. For instance, our virtual care solutions such as those provided by TELUS Health’s Akira and Babylon applications connect Canadians and their families to health professionals over their phones, and give them the opportunity to get an opinion anytime, anywhere. TELUS’ Home Health Monitoring service is also being used in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan so clinical care teams can monitor vulnerable patients virtually while they are recovering at home – either from COVID-19 or another illness that compromises their immune system, to reduce further exposure. “Now more than ever, virtual care tools are essential to helping Canadians and we remain committed to providing everyone with access to quality healthcare no matter their socioeconomic status,” Rich explains.

TELUS Ventures’ portfolio companies are also supporting Canadians through the pandemic. For example, Beacon is providing Canadians with free access to tools and resources for mental health, and League is offering a complimentary three-month trial of their Health Benefits Experience platform (HBX™) to enterprises in need.

Last, but certainly not least, 95 percent of TELUS’ domestic team, and 85 percent of its international team, has been able to work from home during the pandemic.

Why: : “It has been amazing to see the entire TELUS team work tirelessly to respond to this crisis, leveraging the scale and breadth of our people and communications infrastructure to support significant behavioural and economic demands and, most importantly, the health of Canadians,” Rich said. “Our Ventures team also continues to be proactive with identifying and investing in companies that, through innovation, are improving social outcomes. Through technology and sheer hard work, we’re doing our part to make a difference in the fight against this virus.”

TELUS’ dedication isn’t lost on BC Tech CEO Jill Tipping. “By again sponsoring the TIAs, TELUS provides a prime example of how the tech community is coming together to support our province and our country during these challenging times,” she said. “It has given new meaning to our annual celebration of the change makers, the up-and-comers, the innovators and the bold, and for that we can’t thank TELUS enough.”