Chairs' Report for the 1994 AGM
Metro Comunity Access Network Society
The preceding reports have already communicated many of the successes
and challenges of the past year and the plans for the coming year.
Nevertheless, it is appropriate to take a moment and take a broader look,
using this opportunity to fill in a few missing pieces and highlight
some of our accomplishments and anticipate the directions of the coming year.
First, let's try to put all of this into perspective by looking at our
Vision and Mission that we established last Fall:
Every Nova Scotian will have free access to a Community Access
Network, as part of a province-wide electronic network linked to the
These statements have stood up over time rather well, which is a testament
to the work of the Steering Committee which developed them. We hope that you
will agree with us that the work of the Society for its first nine months
has contributed significantly toward our vision and mission.
- Establish a Community Access Network for the Halifax-Dartmouth
Metro area, which will:
- help meet personal and professional information needs of
- foster communication among individuals and the institutions
that serve them;
- support community groups in their efforts at professional
development, outreach and community service;
- enhance opportunities for sustainable, community-based
economic development; and,
- create a favourable environment for business and employment
- Cooperate with other groups to foster and support the development
and linking of Community Access Networks in other parts of Nova
Scotia, Atlantic Canada, the rest of Canada and the world.
We look back on the past year with considerable pride, as it represents a string
of successes with relatively few shortcomings and disappointments.
Following is a brief incomplete chronology:
These events have enabled us to gradually grow and establish a strong and
positive public image. To date, we have had the luxury of linear growth --
we hope that this will continue.
- September, 1993
- formation of The Steering Committee
- October, 1993
- approval of the prototype project; this marked the beginning
of a pattern -- early action paralleling careful planning
- November, 1993
- first joint meeting with Cape Breton FreeNet; the prototype
- January, 1994
- Iotek loans us a SPARC 2 system
- February, 1994
- Metro*CAN forms; publishing of our business plan
- May, 1994
- agreement with Halifax and Access Cable formalized; $10,000
in support and $40,000 to connect Public Access Terminals
- June, 1994
- contract with NSTN signed representing a substantial discount
from full Internet connection rates
- June 15, 1994
- CFN opens for public access (200 users, 4 phone lines)
- July 27, 1994
- launch of our cable TV-connected Public Access Terminal with
Premier Savage in attendance
- August, 1994
- founding meeting of Telecommunities Canada and election of
Kevin Nugent to the seven member Board; Sun Microsystems
loans us two SPARCsystem 10s
- September, 1994
- first user training sessions at Halifax City Library
- October, 1994
- interim government funding of $50,000 is approved under
the Canada Nova Scotia Technology Agreement
- November, 1994
- founding meeting of the Nova Scotia Federation of Community
- December, 1994
- our first Annual General Meeting (3400 users, 24 phone lines, 1200 members)
While all of our committees have worked very hard, we would like to highlight
the work of two of those committees which have been particularly effective.
These are the Support and Training Committee which has produced extensive
on-line help documents and trained individual users and Information Providers,
and the Information Providers Committee which has done the leg work to bring
ever more interesting and important community-based IPs on-line.
And, the Board of Directors itself has been a great bunch of people to work
with, each member bringing their own strengths and energies to the job.
With meetings virtually every week on top of never-ending electronic
communications and committee meetings, appointments and demonstrations,
they have truly worked hard to further the aims of this society.
It is clear to us that our continued success rests with a dedicated,
energetic and well-organized corps of volunteers. We also recognize that we
have done an inadequate job over the past year at recruiting, training
and integrating new volunteers into the operations. To remedy this situation,
we are now seeking a person to fill the position of Volunteer Coordinator.
The duties of this person are available separately.
We hope that someone at this meeting will be interested in this position
and will let us know. We view this position as crucial to our
continued health as an organization.
We see the provision of free access to individuals who do not have computer
equipment at home as an important part of our mission. In the coming year,
we will place a high priority on the deployment and support of additional
Public Access Terminals throughout the Metro area.
We look forward to an increasing number of Nova Scotia community networks
and will work within the framework of NSFCN to help bring that about.
We will also work with Telecommunities Canada to further the goals of
the community network movement on a national basis.