Friday, March 2, 2007

CAP and Community ICT

How important is CAP (Industry Canada's Community Access Program) to communities?
We would love to hear your comments. Now is the time to let everyone know how important this program is to you and to your community. It may not have been a LOT of funding - but when you take that funding and leverage other funding - it can and will be devastating to lose it.

This week the following press release was issued CAN WEST News Services:

Ottawa boosts spending plans


Eric Beauchesne

CanWest News Service

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

OTTAWA -- A double-digit hike in military spending, in part to finance the war in Afghanistan, is one of the major drivers of a six-per-cent increase in total planned federal expenditures in the coming fiscal year, government spending estimates presented Tuesday reveal.

The government estimates it will spend nearly $231 billion in the coming fiscal year, six per cent more than was initially estimated at the start of this fiscal year. And that doesn’t include any new spending that will be announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in his March 19 budget.

The pre-budget increase in estimated spending includes a 14.1 per cent, or $2.1 billion hike in expenditures to $16.9 billion, by the Department of National Defence to cover a variety of additional military expenditures, such as the expansion of the Armed Forces and operations in Afghanistan. The increase in military spending is one the larger increases in both dollars and in percentage terms.

John Williamson, of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation noted despite the Conservative government’s pledge to rein in spending, its expenditures continue to grow faster than the economy, and faster than promised, and will continue to do so.

“The spending estimates do not include the expected increases in spending for equalization, post-secondary education, and the environment,” Williamson said. “So you have some rather large spending envelopes that will be announced March 19 which will add to the already high spending levels we are seeing from the federal government.”

While estimated spending will rise by six per cent from what was estimated a year ago, the increase is only 1.1 per cent higher than what the government now plans to spend this fiscal year, and what it said it would spend in last year’s budget, Treasury Board president Vic Toews said.

Canada’s new government is making solid progress on its priorities, including investments in environment, defence and security, health and social programs,” Toews said in a news release. “These main estimates show the government is keeping its fiscal house in order .. .”

However, some departments and agencies, such as National Defence and the RCMP are getting hefty increases. The RCMP will get nearly $291 million or 14 per cent more. And that does not include almost $84 million that will be transferred to the Mounties who will take over the operations of the now defunct Canadian Firearms Centre.

The increase in funding for the RCMP is part of an eight per cent increase to $6.5 billion in spending for security and public safety. Human Resources will get a whopping $1.9 billion in new funding to compensate residents of Indian Residential Schools. Natural Resources is also getting a hefty 50.4 per cent or $719 million increase in spending.

Much of that is for nuclear waste cleanup, and for the government’s “Clean Air Agenda.” Another major spending increase will be for health care, where as a result of a 10-year deal struck with the provinces by the former Liberal government, the Canada Health Care Transfer will rise by $1.2 billion or six per cent to $21.4 billion.

There will be a $151.8 million increase in spending by the Public Health Agency of which the largest amount is to “implement avian and pandemic influenza preparedness measures.” There were also a variety of major percentage increases in spending, including for the Canada Council for the Arts, which will get a 20.5 per cent or $30.9 million increase to help individual artists and art organizations.

But there were losers too. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will see spending cut by $280 million, or 12.4 per cent, in part reflecting a reduction in expenditures to provide affordable housing. Industry Canada will lose $202 million, or 16.9 per cent of its budget, reflecting cuts in a variety of programs including Community Access Program and SchoolNet, auto industry funding, and Ontario infrastructure program, and an initiative to provide high-capacity Internet service to aboriginal, northern and rural communities.

CBC, meanwhile, will see its funding cut by $68 million or 6.1 per cent, in large part due to reductions in funding for English and French language radio, television and new media. Some of the other expenditure reductions were among the roughly $1 billion in spending cuts that were announced last fall as a part of the government’s fiscal savings program.

CanWest News Service

----------

When talking about the above cuts with a few folks yesterday - I got the following comments:

  • Is the Government doing more for Afghanis than rural Canadians?

  • This is disturbing news. Can we not write our local newspapers, radio hotlines and MP’s regarding the serious and unfair impact of proposed cuts to CAP, SchoolNet, support for aboriginal and rural community connectivity and affordable housing? The Tories seem determined to create a permanent underclass of the undereducated poor.
Please let us know your opinions on this - we will share this blog with newspapers and decision makers. Nothing is certain until the budget is announced - we have time to make a difference.

Note: This is a media release relating to main estimates tabled last week (not the budget yet to be released) it is not an official Industry Canada Press Release. The main estimates were prepared last summer based on information on sunsetting programs. We have time to make an impact.

37 comments:

barry said...

Sorry to hear of the CAP funding being cut. It will be a great loss to the community and staff alike.

barry said...

Sorry to hear of the CAP funding being cut. It will be a great loss to the community and staff alike.

Alison said...

Shame on Stephen Harper. The CAP program is inexpensive & extremely valuable, especially for marginalized people. The site here at PG Brain Injured Group is almost always in use by our 175 clients, their families & other community members, especially those who are marginalized. Learning to use the systems has been a huge asset to the skill development & self-esteem of those we serve. Maybe Mr Harper should look at cutting help to corporation before he attacks those who cannot defend themselves!

nwarden said...

I was a 'CAP Youth Intern' a few years back, and what I saw in the library where it was set up was just amazing. There is a steep drop-off in computer literacy at about the 35-50 year range. The CAP sites help to close that gap. A lot of people didn't even know how to use email or search Google.

I would run training sessions, and people would schedule them almost every day, often 3 or 4 in a day. Some people would even return for a second or third session. And I'm sure some people would teach themselves or bring a friend rather than book a session. It's so nice to see the smile on an elder's face when they recieve their first email reply from a son or daughter on the other side of the continent!

I am also going to be setting up broadband internet on my ndn reserve this year. We are so happy to have recieved the funding for this, but after seeing this blog, I fear some of the other communities who haven't come as far yet may not be so lucky.

But I know there are many people with more political weight who will fight for this, so that gives me some comfort...

Think Tank John said...

The Canim Lake Cap site was absolutely furious to read about the funding cuts. The there told me:

"CAP sites have made all the difference to First Nations people and other rural Canadians. Many are poor, isolated or have special needs and because of this did not have access to the Internet to communicate, locate jobs, etc. This has all changed due to the CAP sites. As I've told you on several occasions, I am amazed not only at how computer/internet literate the younger people are but also how quickly the elders catch on and utilize the system.

Then, on top of the CAP cuts, I was horrified to learn the SchoolNet was going to be dropped. Does anyone have any idea of the cuts that are being made to schools in rural communities due to a shortage of funds? First Nations schools and the rural school districts cannot take on the added burden of paying for something to replace SchoolNet. The cuts are not only affecting the schools but the children's learning and and will keep them isolated.

This is terrible. Fortunately, the Canim Lake Band will continue its sites but this is determined on a year by year basis. The Canim Lake Band feels that the CAP sites are very important to this community as well as others who come here to use the CAP site. I don't know what will happen with SchoolNet at the Eliza Archie Memorial School."

Larry said...

The CAP program for marginalized people in our area is a must and to desolve the funding would set our community back.Our small CAP is well used, I am involved in getting wireless up and going in the six small areas here.This area is depressed for employment and not many families can afford computers,this is where our CAP opens the divide and allows us to search out new avenues.

Think Tank John said...

The Community Arts Council of Prince George is a Community Access Program site. The CAP site is open to the public 6 days a week and it is rare that the computers are not used every day. The public access their e-mails, do resumes, keep in touch with their families and friends and job searches. If the funding to our CAP site is cut, the individuals who don’t own a computer will be left at a severe disadvantage. In today’s world it is imperative that a person have access to a computer and the internet.

We strongly request that no cuts are made to the Community Access Program because it will hurt the people who need it the most. We also assist people with the computer and internet use. For example, we have some elderly people who have no idea how to use the computer but want to keep in touch with grandchildren; we help them navigate their way around e-mail. We assist the CAP users in finding web sites they need to access, how to use programs etc.

The people who use our CAP site will have no computer or internet access if the funding to this program is terminated. Please help save the Community Access Program funding.

shearman said...

This is a comment from Denise Savoy NDP MP for the Victoria riding:

"I don't know what to make of the reference to CAP program because in a meeting I had with the Minister, he assured me it would be funded-mind you he didn't say at what level. I'll make a point of meeting him when we return and push him on that if the funding level hasn't been announced by then. If they have cut, I'll go after him on that for sure-to reinstate. We've been successful in getting some funding restored for a couple of programs...The fight goes on! "

frederic said...

Communautique se prononce pour un financement récurrent du Programme d'accès communautaire et de l'Initiative jeunesse du Programme d'accès communautaire
MONTREAL, le 5 mars /CNW Telbec/ - L'Initiative jeunesse du Programme d'accès communautaire (IJ-PAC) d'Industrie Canada a pris fin le 28 février dernier. Malgré les besoins criants et le succès démontré du programme aucun financement pour en assurer la poursuite n'a été annoncé et les nombreuses demandes qui ont été déposées auprès du ministère titulaire du programme - Industrie Canada - sont demeurées sans réponse.
C'est dans ce contexte l'incertitude que toutes les personnes impliquées dans l'IJ-PAC ont travaillé d'arrache-pied au bon déroulement de ce programme en 2006-2007 afin de répondre aux besoins de la population en matière
d'appropriation des technologies.
Les centaines d'animateurs et d'animatrices ont ainsi encouragé la population à s'initier à Internet et à la micro-informatique par le biais de formation et d'animation gratuites offertes dans les milliers de Centres d'accès communautaire à Internet (CACI) à travers le Canada. La population qui participe aux activités de l'IJ-PAC vient apprendre les rudiments de l'informatique, élément essentiel à une participation active à la société d'aujourd'hui. En ce sens, l'IJ-PAC favorise l'appropriation des nouvelles technologies par la population qui n'a pas d'accès à Internet.
En 2006-2007, une augmentation constante de la fréquentation des CACI a pourtant été enregistrée. Pour 60% des utilisateurs, il s'agissait d'un premier contact avec l'informatique "branchée". Alors que le gouvernement invite les citoyens a lui faire part de ses suggestions, par le biais de consultation en ligne, en vue du dépôt du prochain budget, Communautique souhaite rappeler l'importance de l'IJ-PAC, un programme qui a fait ses preuves et dont le succès mérite qu'on lui accorde enfin un financement récurrent à sa mesure.

A propos de Communautique

Dans une optique d'élargissement de la vie démocratique, Communautique oeuvre depuis 1995 à mettre les technologies de l'information et des communications (TIC) au service des milieux communautaires et populaires et des citoyennes et citoyens touchés par la fracture numérique. Par des activités d'initiation et de formation aux TIC, de soutien et d'animation du milieu, de réflexion et l'expérimentation, Communautique favorise l'appropriation, le partenariat et les réseaux d'échanges dans un esprit de complémentarité
L'Initiative jeunesse (IJ) du Programme d'accès communautaire (PAC) est coordonnée par Industrie Canada et financée par le biais du programme Stratégie emploi jeunesse du Canada (SEJ) du Développement des ressources humaines Canada.


Source : Communautique
514-948-6644
1 877-948-6644
info@communautique.qc.ca


-----------------------------------


For immediate release

Communautique speaks out regarding the need for continuing funding for the Community Access Program Youth Initiative


Montréal, February 28, 2007 - Industry Canada's Community Access Program Youth Initiative (CAP YI) ends today. Despite the obvious need and demonstrated success of this program, there has been no announcement concerning future funding and numerous requests sent to the ministry responsible for this program - Industry Canada - have gone unanswered.

Regardless of the uncertain funding, the many people implicated in CAP YI have continued to work very hard to roll out a program for 2006-2007 which responds to the needs of the public to effectively use technologies.

To this end, hundreds of facilitators have encouraged people to begin using the Internet and personal computers through free training and assistance offered in thousands of community access centers across Canada. Those who take advantage of CAP YI activities learn computer basics needed for active participation in today's society. In this way, CAP YI promotes the use of new technologies by people who do not have access to the Internet.

In 2006-2007, there has been a constant increase in the use of community access centers. For 60% of users, it is their first exposure to online communications. Since the government, through an online consultation process, invites citizens to provide input to the next budget, Communautique wishes to point out the importance of CAP YI, a program that has been such a proven success that it should finally been accorded a measure of stable funding.

- 30 -

About Communautique
In the interests of broadening democratic life, Communautique has worked, since 1995, to bring information and communications technologies (ICTs) to communities, groups and citizens affected by the digital divide. Through introduction and training activities combined with support, facilitation, reflexion and experimentation, Communautique promotes effective use of ICTs, complementary partnerships and networks of exchange.

The Community Access Program (CAP) Youth Initiative (YI) is coordinated by Industry Canada's Community Access Program and is funded through Human Resources and Social Development Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES).

Source : Communautique
514-948-6644
1 877-948-6644
info@communautique.qc.ca

Nanoose First Nation said...

Its too bad that community driven programs like this one are being financially cut like that. Its too bad, if only we had a way to prevent this, or get different funding sources or something. great loss. I hope we can pull through it.

josie said...

CAP provides access to a world of opportunity for women abuse survivors, women with disabilities, Aboriginal women, women in rural and remote areas, and women living in poverty.

Cutting the CAP program will have an adverse impact on the women abuse survivors our agency – Bridges for Women – serves:

Without CAP, women abuse survivors who enrol in our online classroom will need to have their own computers and Internet to participate. As we reach out to women in rural and remote areas, CAP sites become much more important than they may seem in an urban setting. They often provide the first and only Internet access in a remote area. If CAP sites go, women may lose access to educational and social services such as ours that help them put a stop to the cycle of violence, and improve the lives of their children.

Women who use the CAP site we operate in Victoria will also be affected. They now have a safe and supportive place to practice computer and typing skills, search for job and education opportunities, prepare and print resumes and applications, do income tax and check email. With no CAP funds at all, we may have to reduce the number of hours women can use computers, and we may have to charge them for printing out resumes. To women already living well below the poverty line, this will be a hardship.

Bikkar Singh Lalli said...

Dr BIKKAR SINGH LALLI wrote:
Dear Hon. Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry Canada:
On behalf of Surrey/Delta Indo-Canadian seniors, who are having the benefit of a CAP site, I am making to your excellency an eanest request not to make any cuts in this very desirable and necessary Community Access Program (CAP). Our site is providing seniors and sometimes children of poor parents, especially single parents facilities to stay connected with cyberspace. This program provides a great social support to seniors, especially new immigrants to Canada. Seniors, at this site, are using the facility in learning how to send e-mail messages to their dear ones in the "old" country", read newspapers, get applications forms for visa, passport, old age security also. The site provides seniors a good excuse to get out of the home and stay active.
Socially satisfied seniors contribute a lot to the Canadian society, socially and economically.
When the economy of Canada is healthy any cuts in such social programs would be unfair.
Yours Truly
Bikkar Singh Lalli Ph.D. (UBC). Member of the Senate of the University of British Columbia Coordinator and volunteer instructor: CAP Site: Surrey/Delta Indo-Canadian Seniors
604 501 0203

Harry Adam said...

On March 2, 2007, I sent the following email to our Prime Minister Stephen Harper and my local MP, Colin Mayes.

The PMO's reply follows:

Dear Prime Minister Harper

Our government has announced more support, military and development aid, to Afganistan.
Yet we have not completed the task for providing every Canadian, in every part of Canada, with an opportunity to accesss and benefit from
access to the Internet.

Why has the government not increased funding to Industry Canada's Community Access program, and other programs in the IHAB (information
Highway Applications Branch)?, so that all Canadians can be on, and benefit from the information highway. Let's finish our jobs at home
first!

Can you reply please?
Sincerely
Harry Adam,

From: Prime Minister/Premier ministre
Date: March 13, 2007 8:00:46 AM PDT (CA)
To: Harry Adam
Cc: "Maxime Bernier, P.C., M.P."
Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre

Dear Mr. Adam:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to thank you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Bernier, so that he too may be made aware of your comments.

M. Bourque
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre

Harry Adam said...

On March 2, 2007, I sent the following email to my local MP, Colin Mayes.

Mr. Mayes' office reply follows.

Dear Mr. Mayes

Our government has announced more support, military and development aid, to Afganistan.
Yet we have not completed the task for providing every Canadian, in every part of Canada, with an opportunity to accesss and benefit from
access to the Internet.

Why has the government not increased funding to Industry Canada's Community Access program, and other programs in the IHAB (information
Highway Applications Branch)?, so that all Canadians can be on, and benefit from the information highway. Let's finish our jobs at home
first!

Can you reply please?

Mr. Adam – Thank you for visiting Colin’s website. You might enjoy taking a look at the new format that just got up and running at the same address. Colin has noted your concern about internet provision for every Canadian as was suggested by the previous government. Unfortunately, it is a little more complicated than just putting money into it. Private company’s like Shaw, Bell and Telus do not want to spend the money to build all of the towers that would be necessary to complete that task even in our province, let alone the nation. Individuals would see an enormous rate hike in order for this to take place, or the government would have to subsidize every homeowner that wanted access, and that is probably not even an option they would consider. However, that said, they are still discussing how it can be accomplished. Again, thank you for expressing your views. Rhelda Evans
Office Manager/ Caseworker for
Colin Mayes, M.P.
Okanagan-Shuswap

Leah said...

The Westbank Visitor Centre hosts a CAP site and is daily accessed, by not only the traveling public but by many Westside residents who would not otherwise have access to a computer. We don't believe the costs to run this program is so overburdening to the taxpayer, that the measures to cut this funding is appropriate to the benefits to the communities as a whole. I recommend that the government re-evaluate their decision to eliminate this very useful and in some cases urgently required program.

Sydnie said...

I am currently a CAP Youth Intern in the Comox Valley. Before I started the possition, I only knew how to access Email and Microsoft Word. Just yesterday I posted my first Web Page onto the Internet. This program has taught me how to use the Internet as a means of communication, advertising, teaching and sharing valuable information. Now think of how much the CAP program is helping people in other communities. One of the greatest moments in our CAP Community Lab was watching a smile transform the face of a Grandfather who had just learned how to use email. By using his email account, he was able to correspond, for the first time in 18 years, with his grandson. The CAP program is an essential resource to communities as technology grows in popularity and economic use.

Dennis said...

We consider certain things to be rights for most Canadians. I believe that access to technology is one of the things that we now take for granted. The information hiway and all that it involves is a large part of most of our lives.
Unfortunately, many marginalized Canadians have no access to this "for granted" part of our lives without CAP funding. Not all of us can teach the uneducated how to use technology like CAP interns can. No one else has the same unrestricted access to computers, internet and training like CAP sites do. No one else provides all these services to the marginalized general public for free either.
The CAP sites are of great value because they give marginalized citizens a number of things that have value:
1. Access to computers and the internet
2. A feeling of accomplishment because they have that access, likely something many never thought they would have.
3. A cost effective way of giving site visitors many more tools to create and pursue some dreams, major or minor.
4. Access to online education programs and free training.
5. Access to job banks and resume creation and posting.
6. Access to something that most could not normally afford, improving self-worth because "we can do the same stuff that the more wealthy can" in part because the CAP sites are free to them.
It would be a real shame to lose something that appears to be reasonably cost effective, creates jobs in the public sector, gives educational opportunities to interns, site operators and site users, encourages community involvement for providers and users alike, is socially responsible and gives opportunity to many marginalized people to access the world through the online experience, hopefully making them happier and more fulfilled.

mgurst said...

It seems very ironic and downright foolish for the government to consider cutting CAP.

Just as many countries especially in Asia are starting to move into national programs for community access (often based at least indirectly on the Canadian model), so Canada is abandoning its role (and leadership) in these areas.

For a pittance in the context of the budget huge benefits accrue to Canadians and through the example of Canada's program to Canada and the rest of the world from these initiatives.

The time is not to cut but to build on the success of the initiatives to turn CAP into community based centres for local economic and social innovation, service delivery and e-governance.

If Canada does that then it can renew its leadership role and not incidentally provide significant markets overseas for the goods and services that will develop as a consequence.

Judy said...

In our community, CAP funding has made it possible for everyone--children, teens, and adults right up into their 80s--to benefit from the life-enhancing tools available on the Internet. From job hunting for teens, to educational research for adults, to health-related searches for elders, I have seen so many lives enriched by this resource!! I'd like to see Harper break away from pandering to the USA and its priorities and redistribute the budget so as to include programs that really help Canadians!

Daryl Hobbs said...

I moved to the South St Jamestown area of Toronto six years ago with Toronto Community Housing. I was trying to get a few free computers for some low income people I had met in the neighbourhood. After some fruitless inquiries I was introduce to Mr. Peter Frampton of Learning Enrichment Foundation and Mr. Rich Roxborough of reBoot Canada.
It was obvious to Peter, Rich and myself the divide between people who had access to computers and others who did not was becoming wider and when they introduce the "Community Access Program" I jumped at the chance to give people some much needed access to free computers and free internet.
Since then the amount of ideas, community rally point, and education has been truly inspirational.
The negative impact of cutting funding for CAP will produce an explosion of lost opportunities and lessen the overall computer literacy for many people who need this kind of springboard location to further their education and information gathering ability.

Herbie said...

It is as simple as: if I don't have CAP center access, I have no access. I need this funding to be part of government services to citizens like me!

Herb Jones, Denman Island, BC

Innovation said...

Cutting the CAP program puts Canada at such a disadvantage. When we first started down this path 14 years ago - we had some in our community say "It's a waste of time - the Internet is "fluff" and not going to amount to anything"...well...time has proven that the internet and related technologies is essential in our lives and as a country. Providing services and training opportunities to those who can not afford it - to those that need assistance - should be considered an ESSENTIAL SERVICE and funded as such.
Other governmental agencies have relied on CAP without even realizing it....they have rolled out all kinds of e-government and e-services to make the lives of Canadian's easier....just where did the government think many of it's citizens were accessing these services? And NOW - many of these services are the ONLY way to access them.
As global citizens - we live in exponential times...technology is moving faster than we can keep up - so even MORE effort is required to keep Canada even NEAR the leaders....now is certainly the WORST time to cut back services.
I believe if CAP funding is cut...in the future we will be able to look back and actually identify the DATE/TIME that Canada was de-railed and fell out of the race.

Should CAP be funded as it is? No...it needs to be revitalized - changed - but not by some government policy people in Ottawa that do NOT live on the ground serving Canadians...we need community consultations with community champions. CAP is a world-class foundation for the next steps....don't throw away 12 years of hard work.

Christoph said...

Dear All,
it's very bad to hear this. I think the work carried out by PCNA is very valuable and the role of telecenters in rural and marginalized communities must be recognized as a public service. As a practitioner based in Ecuador, Latin America I know out of experience how desastrous it is to have no support from the public sector. Reality in Latin America is refelcting the horrible outcomes when whole communities are cut from information streams, when they have no possibilities to participate in global processes, be they education, information, econmics, trade etc. The social outcomes (crime, migrations, lost cultural identy) of this are costly. Every decider should think twice and taking into account the consequences of his/her decision.
Christoph Roessner

Moonbeam said...

Today I was kissed and hugged by an elderly community member picking up her tax return that was prepared by one of our vounteers at the local CAP site. These volunteer are trained through the federal Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and they use CAP sites as a centre for processing 100's of returns electronically for the most disadvantaged members of our community.

I wonder if the various arms of the government even know how CAP is benefiting them as we help people fill in online forms and find government supports.

Today I also said good bye to one of our interns who is moving on to bigger and better things thanks in part to the opportunity the CAP Youth program gave him.

Golden Women's Centre said...

The CAP funding has been really important for clients at our Women's Centre. We constantly have people stopping by to use the computers. We have found that in our rural community, that has little or no government services after years of cutbacks, the internet is a crucial way for people to access services they need. The CAP funding has also allowed us to help people that don't have the basic literacy skills to function in our online society. It is also important in our community because we have a high seasonal worker population that come for the ski season.

dmbb2000 said...

I have been a Youth Intern with the CAP YI Program and I know first-hand that the program is extremely valuable, not just to the community but to the youth who work within the program as well. During my internship, I have gained highly beneficial work experience and have advanced my skills in several areas such as leadership, organization, networking, marketing, training and communication, community knowledge, technical skills (website design, html & css, desktop publishing, networking) and more. The program gives youth the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with adults and peers and therefore helps them to gain confidence and elevated self-esteem and self-worth.

With the help of CAP YI interns, we have been able to keep our public access lab and community center “The Hotspot” open for twelve hours everyday of the week. Through the center and over the years we have taught a vast number of people how to use computers, and have also been available to answer technical questions for people over the phone and who drop in for some otherwise unobtainable free technical advice.

The program facilitates a valuable service to low-income citizens through providing free education on computer technology and therefore raises the individual capacity of these citizens within the workforce while also building their self-confidence and self-worth. These citizens would very likely not receive the opportunity to learn these skills for free without CAP YI and would therefore be unlikely to ever have the opportunity to expand their skills and ability to increase their income.

In addition, the program facilitates the development of community projects that benefit not only the community as a whole, but also the youth and citizens involved in the implementation. As the youth work on projects, they continuously improve and increase their skills and work experience in a variety of areas. We have helped several community organizations with their projects, event planning, administration, websites, technical support, project brainstorming, promotion and more.

We have also implemented and sustained a computer-recycling program through which we have saved countless computers and related equipment from the landfill to be repaired and given to low-income families. In the last 30 days we gave away 3 computers for free to local low-income families in our community.

Through the resources provided by CAP YI we have been able to positively affect our whole community while giving youth the opportunity to expand their skills and experience and broaden their career horizons. It is my sincere and grave hope that this program will continue, or one similar to it will continue in its place, so that these vastly important core benefits for our youth and local citizens will remain.

ccsa members said...

It is with great willingness that I write to keep C.A.P. and Maurits in Chemainus Elementary Community School.
Chemainus Elementary School needs Maurits and his computer talents. He has proven his worth by saving costs, by maintaining the new computer, serving and upgrading new programs, by improving efficiency and programming short cuts in the labs. He has made many valuable contributions with ideas for graphic designs, lessons, marketing, and teaching methods. Maurits even uses his editing skills in Office to help us with administration. With his technical experience and knowledge Maurits is able to work with all models of computers (we have PCs and Macs), saving us time and money when a glitch shows up.
We have a need for a CAP youth intern to continue improving our skills and understanding of technology.
Maurits formulated a plan, implemented and constructed a computer program, which we have continued using at Eagle Wings Preschool and which has saved us many dollars and hours of frustrating research. He has a wonderful way with students, staff and teachers. He can modify (almost) any program to suit the level of a child, which reduces the stress level for both students and teachers.
What is he gaining? Experience in the public sector and in an organized school where his talents are appreciated.

Thank You,

Joke Slater
Director, Eagle Wings Preschool

ccsa members said...

December 6, 2006



To Whom It May Concern:


RE: Community Access Program, Youth Intern


I am writing to express my support of continuing the above program at Chemainus Community School. I have been associated with the school for three years, first as a student teacher and then as a teacher-on-call. This year I have a part-time contract at the school.

Over the last three years I have frequently relied on the support and expertise of the student interns. I am self-taught in my computer skills, and am trying to fill in my many knowledge gaps so I can be an effective teacher. Sean, Bill, and now Maurits have provided the expertise and reassurance I’ve needed to increase my use of technology in the classroom. Their presence in the computer lab has allowed me to expand my own comfort level, and given me the “safety net” I need to take the risk of using more technology in my teaching. They have been very patient and non-threatening, and I’ve never felt “dumb” asking for their help. When the computers crash, freeze, or flash horrible warnings in the middle of a class, the interns have saved me from panic many times.

The interns also provide an excellent role model for the students at the school. The students all still cheer when Sean (our intern from two years ago) visits the school.

Please consider continuing the funding for this important position. My students need to learn computer skills, and I need support to help me figure out the skills so I can teach them.

Sincerely,



Karen Armitage
Grade 5/6 teacher
Chemainus Elementary Community School

ccsa members said...

Subject: Community Access Program Youth Intern Worker
I just wanted to share my thoughts with you about our Community Access Program Youth Intern Worker. As a member of the public (I am a public school teacher), I want to let you know that I feel the position of our Intern worker here at Chemainus Elementary Community School is invaluable. Our current youth worker, Maurits, has been a huge bonus to our school. Here are my thoughts as to why I feel this way:
He has made a great connection with all of our 360 plus students
He makes himself available to both staff and students to answer our questions/problems concerning computers
He runs both lunch and after school computer programs
He has helped me with my class when we were doing a Hyper Studio project for school. His assistance was invaluable as he taught me many things I could share with my class, helped the students understand the many functions of the program
Gave me guidance concerning the Internet
Helped me set up 'Handouts" on the Internet for student work
Has helped students with their projects at lunch
Is a great role model for students
Fixed my computer in the classroom
Is approachable and knowledgable
Has helped me download pictures from my digital camera and create files
Am looking forward to working with/getting help from him for our school yearbook project
Am looking for his knowledge & assistance in making/creating I-movies for our class
While these are only a few of the many things both our present and past interns have helped me with, they have been a huge asset to our school. With limited resources/programs for teachers to attend/learn from...the position of this intern worker has been beneficial to our school. Not only do I as a teacher benefit, but more importantly the children of our school and community benefit. It would be a huge loss to our school (children and teachers) not to have this postion renewed. It is my hope that this letter will help demonstrate the need for continued funding for such valuable programs as these to continue.
Respectfully,
Cathy Benstead Grade Six/Seven Teacher
Chemainus Elementary Community School

ccsa members said...

December 11, 2006

To whom it may concern,

My name is Maurits Vos and I am the CAP Youth Intern for the Chemainus Elementary Community School CAP Site. Being a part of this program has inspired me as a young entrepreneur-to-be, to open up to people in general. Not only am I more confident when it comes to aiding a member of the community, but I am also more enthusiastic about seeing how many people I have helped in the long run by simply showing someone how to search for a picture on the internet or how to connect a DVD player to their television.
I am positive that many find my position very beneficial. Now I am not only thinking about myself, but future CAP Youth Interns could also learn from the people surrounding them and help those same people. Without the CAP sites, people are somewhat forced to go out on their own and find their own ways of learning something. Surely you could tell someone to just “Google it,” but what if they don’t know that first stop? Getting to Google. Or what if they don’t have a computer available to them in their homes? CAP sites make that available for everyone in the community for FREE. And with pleasure, we are here to instruct, guide, teach, help or whatever else it is they need when it comes to dealing with technology. This is a great program and it would greatly impact my community for them to not have a Youth Intern returning to the site and even worse, to not have a CAP site at all!
One of my major concerns about having the CAP sites shut down is the kids. The kids, at least here at Chemainus Elementary, have benefited enormously from having a CAP Youth Intern around. Here at the Elementary School, it was possible to show some of the kids how to solve a problem they might be having with a program, or help them work on a project right that same day rather than if something’s wrong, they’d have to wait a couple of days before either a teacher could show them how to work a program, or for someone to come in a fix the computer. When helping one of the kids, I like to think of them as anyone walking off the street and asking for help. When they realize how they’ve been helped and how it has changed them in some way, they go home and tell their parents about us. This is also one of the ways the parents know we’re available to help anyone. You could call it word-of-mouth advertising for our program.
Parents of the children quite often will come in to the school asking questions regarding their own computers at home or asking if they can be helped with various community events.
The Royal Canadian Legion of Chemainus came to the school for the Remembrance Day ceremony and asked from me to have a DVD recorded so they could show other what they do. This is what we do. We reach out in various technological areas to help those community members and give them that support in any way possible.
This program should continue to keep on giving that help and support to several communities across Canada.

Sincerely,

Maurits Vos –
CAP Youth Intern

ccsa members said...

Message re: Our CAP student, Maurits.

Our CAP student provides an essential service in our school which would leave a large gap if his services were no longer available. The areas which are directly related to my work are computer technical services for Eagle Wings Preschool and digital Photograph services for our Roots of Empathy Program.
He has designed our template for our monthly newsletter as well as many other computer services when we have questions or difficulties. Maurits has also provided technical support for all the photos necessary for our Roots of Empathy program.
Please do not cancel this program.

Sincerely,
Heather Allen

ccsa members said...

From: Shelagh
To: Bernier.M@parl.gc.ca
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 2:08 PM
Subject: Community Access to Internet


Dear Minister -
I urge you to continue funding - at the present (or a greater) level - the provision of Internet connections through computers in public libraries, schools and other publicly accessible sites.

This service provision:
* supports equality for families in difficult financial situations
* provides learning opportunities for children and seniors living in very
limited or transient accommodation that does not allow for private pc's. * promotes public education and research
* increases the awareness of seniors like myself of the value of the
Internet for learners of all ages.

Personally, I have several friends and co-volunteers who would not be able to access computers without public computer stations. This access allows us to provide them with minutes of meetings they miss, seek input on matters a Society's board is considering, and make other contacts in a timely manner.

Please retain budgetary provision for Community Access services and keep Canadians in the forefront of computer literacy.
Shelagh Armour-Godbolt, Box 124, Chemainus, B.C.

ccsa members said...

This is a request to pass on in support of the CAP programme. As we have
discussed, I have found this programme to be one of the most beneficial for
the students, teachers and support workers. Maurits and Sean have been
amazingly helpful to me as a teacher and to my buddy teacher, Miss Mead.
Each of these young men have worked very well with students and showed a
good understanding of the challenges our students face. Many of our students
have learning disabilities and Maurits and Sean were able to give support to
these students at their level. They make each one of us at school feel glad
to see them and free to ask questions. I understand that our school has
received computers in the library. These are the computers which I have used
for report card writing as the computers in the library supplied through our
district have not worked correctly. The computer that I have in my classroom
has not got enough memory to handle the programme for report card writing so
I use the library CAP computers. The computer lab is usually occupied by a
class when I need to write report cards so I use the library CAP computers.
I have observed members of the public using these CAP computers as well. If there is any way that I can help save the CAP programme, please let me know.
We need Maurits. Thank-you, Wendy Neilsen
Grade Three teacher at Chemainus
Elementary Community School

ccsa members said...

Our computer helpers Maurits/Bill/Sean in the CAP Program have all been very helpful to me and my class.It is great to have a knowledgable person to help troubleshoot when problems arise and my students all form a bond with them.They are able to go beyond what I might be able to facilitate otherwise,with the CAP workers help.It is a very beneficial program and well worth preserving here at Chemainus Elementary.
Sincerely,K.Robertson

ccsa members said...

I would like to express my support for the CAP program. I am a teacher at Chemainus Elementary Community School and for the past few years we have had a computer support worker funded by your program. I have found these young men to be very helpful when working in the computer lab with the class. I have had help with computer "glitches" and in explaining computer use to children. With the help of these young men I have learned how to use some programs and improved my knowledge of how to use the Macintosh computers effectively. These workers have always found time to work with children individually who need extra computer time or help. One person in particular spent extra time with a special needs child in my class who needed attention and some quiet time. Please consider continued support of the CAP program

- Devina Brookman

ccsa members said...

Just wanted to let you know that having Maurits in the lab has benefitted me greatly. I have learned so much by having him there when I reach a point in my computer education where I need coaching to progress. He has made it possible for me to try new things and to expand my repetoire of computer skills. Couldn't manage without his assistance and support.

I am also most appreciative to have received the two new Emacs!

Hope this program can continue since our previous interns also made a huge difference to my personal development and certainly the whole school has benefitted from this program.

Sincerely,

Laurel Hibbert

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