Ottawa and Telcos to Keep Canadians Overseas Informed About COVID-19 with Text Messages

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced it will be keeping Canadians travelling abroad informed about COVID-19 through text messages, made possible by a partnership with our telecoms.

Rogers, Bell, Telus, Videotron, Freedom Mobile, Eastlink and SaskTel will today begin sending text messages to subscribers living or travelling overseas, containing important consular info and contact details.

“The Government would like to thank employees in the telecommunications industry for their continued hard work to ensure that Canada’s networks remain strong and resilient, enabling the work-from-home economy while we all do our part to flatten the curve of COVID19,” reads an ISED press release.

“I am pleased that Canada’s telecommunications service providers have acted quickly to help Canadians as they take steps to answer the call for social distancing. The measure announced today builds on various steps already taken by Canada’s telecommunications service providers to help consumers and ensure service remains uninterrupted. The Government is looking to help them now and will ensure Canadians abroad receive important Global Affairs Canada information directly to their devices during this critical period,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Many Canadians abroad are currently relying on uninterrupted service from Canada’s telecommunications service providers to access consular services,” added François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs

ISED says Canadians who need emergency help from consular servers worldwide can contact the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available) or email

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