Community Access Program - Overview
Bernie Hart gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Community Access
Program. Key points are:
- is a joint program of Industry Canada and the province (Technology &
- up to $20,000 available per site
- since 1996 140 sites established with 224 as the target
He also described who the program targets, what a site looks like,
requirements for site establishment and what the steering committee must
include. Bernie reviewed the present distribution of CAP sites and
described how in the urban part of HRM a neighbourhood cluster model is
being used. A total of 13 clusters have been identified. What is common to
each cluster is that they have a library branch and a junior or senior high
school. The Sackville cluster consisting of Sackville High, a health
centre, seniors group in the mall and the library has just been approved
for funding. Other early starters in the Urban CAP program include the
North Branch Memorial Library which was part of an urban pilot program,
Veith House and the Dartmouth North cluster.
Strategies which are being explored and discussed in this program include:
- The home/schoool connection - (Greystone and Rocking Heights)
- Loaning computers from a site (Salvation Army)
- Data projector ( North End Community Health Clinic)
- Home visitation (Veith House/HRDC)
Chebucto Community Net's Role
Leo Deveau, Executive Director of the Chebucto Community Net (CCN)
distributed a brochure and gave a brief history of CCN's mandate. They have
3,000 members and host websites for 200 community groups.
He talked about discussions/ideas that had been raised around the Cyber Café
(in Computer Science Building - Dalhousie). It is a public space although
it obviously serves a mostly student clientele. He suggested a number of
questions for consideration. Could having a CAP site there increase the
public/community interface? How could it be linked to other sites in the
South End such as Spencer House and Phoenix House (both have applications
for CAP funding "in the works") ? How can we leverage skills and strengths
of the Dalhousie computer community for the CAP program?
South End Community Needs
Discussion then followed the topic of what are the needs of Halifax South
community that are not currently being met? The following were identified:
- Family/friends visiting those in the hospitals (ie: MacDonald House, South
- Street people
- Mission to Seamen
- Killiam library's informal policy to help the public and how can we do it?
- The OT/physio department at Dalhouse - could there be a link to sites in
the area of assistive technology?
It was recognized that the Spring Garden library just got 4 new computers
under the "Gate's Funding" and have no further capacity in terms of space.
It seems that the student population at Dalhousie has options for access
that are generally meeting demand on campus. These include the libraries,
SUB stations, residences set up for access. A survey done over a year ago
revealed that 90% of students also had access to non-Dalhousie computers.
It was suggested that location is critical. For instance the Dalhousie
Library is set up to be primarily responsible to the student population and
secondarily to a public outside that but how to do it for an outside
population is not clear.
Is there an opportunity for computer student internships or practical
experience at CAP sites that can be a part of their studies? How can we
link those that know how to use information technology with those who
don't? As volunteerism is encouraged among the student population could
something be done there to link student volunteers with CAP sites.
Currently the Volunteer Resource Centre does get some university student
volunteers and there is a Student Volunteer Bureau at the SUB.
There is currently a Metro CAP Advisory Committee with primarily sectoral
representation. It was suggested that we should likely have a university
representative on that committee. There are three key task areas that have
been identified and sub- committees are currently being established to
carry forward this work. They are: Application Review Sub-Committee, Site
Distribution Sub-Committee and a Community Information Design
Funding for sites is available till March 2001. There are additional
support funds of approximately $5,000 per year for an additional 2 years
after site establishment. Application Funding Reviews will take place in
June, August and October, 2000.
This meeting was to share information and encourage further thinking about
what opportunities there are for participating in this program. More people
need to be brought into the information loop.
Leo stated that CCN would take the lead in linking with some of the groups
identified. These include the hospitals, Spencer House, Phoenix House,
YMCA/YWCA, Seamen's Mission, Dalhousie OT/physio linkages.
Further consideration will need to be given to need/appropriateness of a
site at the Cyber Café.
Once contact has been made and discussions have taken place with others
another meeting will be called. The ideal situation would be if a Halifax
South group could be established in order to develop and submit an
application for the August Application Review.