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Spread the Net is a charitable organization that aims to reduce malaria in the African nations. It was co-founded by Rick Mercer, a Canadian satirist, and Belinda Stronach, a former Canadian Member of Parliament and philanthropist. A partnership with UNICEF Canada has allowed Spread the Net to achieve the goal of distributing 500,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to Liberia and Rwanda.[1] Spread the Net now works with its partners to combat malaria. The campaign has donated over 539,000 nets since its founding.

Spread the Net
Spread the Net logo.png
Motto“1 Net. 10 Bucks. Save Lives.”
FounderBelinda Stronach and Rick Mercer
Area served
Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, Guinea



In 2006, Rick Mercer and Belinda Stronach travelled to Africa along with Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the UN Millennium Project,[2][3] in preparation to co-host the Millennium Promise Convention in Montreal on November 9, 2006. At the convention, Mercer and Stronach, along with Jeffrey Sachs and Nigel Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, announced their intention to begin the Spread the Net campaign, and raise $5 million for insecticide treated bed nets to be given to children and pregnant women in Liberia and Rwanda.[4] One X One founder Joey Adler and Millennium Promise Conference founder Daniel Germain each gave $150,000 to the campaign at the conference.[5] The first order for 33,000 bed nets was made on March 28, 2007.[6]

By December 2011, Spread the Net achieved its founding goal; 500,000 nets distributed to pregnant women and children in Liberia and Rwanda.[citation needed] Spread the Net has teamed with Plan Canada, working together to deliver another 250,000 nets, this time to Guinea.[citation needed]

In 2012, Spread the Net partnered together with the Mosquitoes Suck Tour, a 60-minute performance act for high school students across Canada.[7]

Student ChallengeEdit

In 2007, Spread the Net started fund raising in Canadian Schools. Between 2007 and 2008 over 250 schools participated raising $300,000. The competition has been presented to schools across Canada, and the school that raises the most to donate would be visited by Rick Mercer.[8] The challenge includes post-secondary, secondary, and elementary school divisions, and one wild-card winner. In the 2010 edition, the challenge featured an additional twist by inviting schools in east to compete with their counterparts in the west, resulting in two post-secondary level winners.


Year Winner
2007 Dalhousie University[9]
2008 Dalhousie University[10]
2009 John F. Ross Collegiate and Vocational Institute[11]
2010 Simon Fraser University[12]
University of Ottawa[13]
2011 University of Northern British Columbia[14][15]
Espanola High School[14][14]
2012 McGill University
Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School[16]
Lakefield Elementary School
2013 Algonquin College[17]
Almonte and District High School[18]
Pleasantdale School[19]
2014 Algonquin College[17]
John F. Ross Collegiate and Vocational Institute
2015 Algonquin College
John F. Ross Collegiate and Vocational Institute
Kew Beach Junior Public School[20]
2016 Algonquin College
Balmoral Hall School
Macville Public School
Central Algoma Secondary School
2017 Langara College
Father Mercredi High School
Beaverly Elementary
R. A. Riddell School
2018 Dalhousie University
Kincardine District Secondary School
Holy Names High School
Stewarttown Middle School

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Spread the Net High School Campaign
  2. ^ What is Spread the Net?
  3. ^ Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Director
  4. ^ "Stronach joins Clinton at anti-poverty session". CTV News. November 9, 2006. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  5. ^ "Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer launch anti-malarial bednet campaign:"Spread the Net" with UNICEF Canada" (Press release). UNICEF. November 9, 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  6. ^ "UNICEF: Spread the Net Announces First Purchase of 33,000 Anti- Malarial Bed Nets for Liberia Liberian President applauds Belinda Stronach, Rick Mercer and UNICEF Canada's Nigel Fisher for Spread the Net initiative". CCNMatthews Newswire. March 28, 2007. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^
  8. ^ About the Spread the Net Student Challenge
  9. ^ "Spread the Net update". Dalhousie University News. February 23, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  10. ^ Dal wins, mosquitos lose
  11. ^ Guelph high school leads the pack in Spread the Net campaign
  12. ^ "Mercer announces SFU Spread the Net wi". "SFU News Online. March 10, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Generous biology students appear on The Rick Mercer Report
  14. ^ a b c Rick And The Spread The Net Student Challenge Winners
  15. ^ RMR: Rick and the Spread the Net Student Challenge Winners
  16. ^ Soon-to-be-closed PCVS wins Spread the Net Student Challenge
  17. ^ a b [1]
  18. ^ ADHS Places 1st in Canada in the Spread the Net Challenge and Welcomes Rick Mercer!
  19. ^ Mercer visits Pleasantdale School
  20. ^ [2]

External linksEdit