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Archived - Canada's New Government Ensures Support for the Community Access Program

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OTTAWA, June 6, 2007 --The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today announced that Canada's New Government will extend its support of the Community Access Program (CAP) by providing funding for 2007-08.
"Canada's New Government has pledged to work to improve opportunities for all Canadians," said Minister Bernier. "We are proud to contribute to a community-driven program such as CAP that has so many positive benefits across the country."
A Government of Canada initiative, administered by Industry Canada, CAP provides Canadians with affordable public access to the Internet and the skills they need to use it effectively. It operates through the combined efforts of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, community groups, social agencies, libraries, schools, volunteer groups and the business community.
Under CAP, public locations such as schools, libraries and community centres act as "on-ramps" to the Internet for people who might not have computers or Internet access in their homes or workplaces. CAP also provides affordable access to skills training, job searching and government online services. The program supports the goals of Advantage Canada, the Government of Canada's plan to help all Canadians improve their quality of life, reach their full potential, and create strong communities.
"Federal funding for CAP will allow the CAP networks across the country to continue their valuable work in helping Canadians take advantage of emerging opportunities in the global knowledge-based economy," said Minister Bernier.
CAP is also complemented by the Community Access Program Youth Initiative (CAPYI), which provides employment opportunities each year to more than 1500 young Canadians between the ages of 15 to 30 at various CAP sites across the country.
For more information, please contact:
Isabelle Fontaine
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001
Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502
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Backgrounder
Community Access Program
The Community Access Program, (CAP) an Industry Canada initiative, provides residents of rural, remote and urban communities across Canada with affordable access to the Internet and the opportunities to develop the skills to use it effectively. Established in 1994, CAP provides Canadians with new ways to communicate, learn and do business in today's knowledge-based economy, with the broader aim of improving the economic, social and cultural well-being of communities across the nation.
CAP objectives include the following:
promoting public awareness of the benefits and opportunities of using information technology and services;
supporting online delivery of government programs and services;
helping citizens become better informed through the exchange of ideas and information;
providing training for individuals in the use of information technologies; and
conducting online learning and research.
The primary services provided are Internet access, access to email, and employment and job-related activities, followed by access to software applications, government information, administrative support/services, and education.
Although CAP serves all Canadians, its main focus is on those most affected by the digital divide. Statistics Canada's General Social Survey (2000) identified low-income Canadians, residents of rural areas, older Canadians, minority language communities, and Canadians with limited education as being less likely to use the Internet than the general population.
In 2005-06, an estimated 15 million visitors made use of CAP sites, with eight million repeat users.
CAP is managed by Industry Canada's national headquarters with delivery assistance from regional offices across the country. CAP is delivered through 88 networks, which also include six provincial and territorial partners that match federal funds.
CAP networks have become early adopters of technology and experts in the application of technology in a manner that meets broad-based community goals. The program has a significant impact at the grassroots level and has become an important community economic and social development tool.
CAP sites contribute to community economic development by providing information and communications technologies (ICT) infrastructure, developing ICT skills among community members, improving social capital through the many partnerships needed to keep the sites functioning, and helping small businesses to use the Internet. CAP sites are also used for e-literacy training and to access formal and informal education over the Internet.

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