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New technology funding creates jobs for young people

By Allison Penney
Bishop's College
St. John's, Newfoundland

Industry minister John Manley
talks on the educational benifits
of the program.
play clip

The federal government has unveiled a new program that will provide new job opportunities for young people in Newfoundland and Labrador and promote the use of the information highway.

On November 10, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the Honorable John Manley, Minister of Industry and Brian Tobin, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Newfoundland's Education Minister, Roger Grimes, during a ceremony in St. John's.

The Memorandum promises that each government will invest $3 million in this program to facilitate access to the Internet throughout the province. The goal is to make Canada the most connected nation in the world by ensuring that all Canadians have access to the Internet, by the year 2001.

What does this mean for us, the young people? Actually, it has more to do with our generation than you would think. The Community Access Program is what all the hype is about. CAP sites are located in communities across the country, giving people access to computer technology.

Premier Brian Tobin, federal industry ministerJohn Manley,
and provincial education minister Roger Grimes sign the agreement

CAP is part of the Youth Employment Strategy and has already helped employ 1,000 young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30, including 70 in Newfoundland and Labrador. These sites employ young people to create websites, update them, and keep them going and to train others to use the technology. The new agreement will help establish 70 more sites over the next three years. By early 2001, the goal of Industry Canada will be to establish up to 10,000 remote, rural and urban sites across the country.

Newfoundland is the first province to have all its schools connected by way of the Internet, a fact that makes Premier Tobin quite proud. A rather impressive statistic, not to mention the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador students did 52.8% of all the online projects completed by Canadian students through SchoolNet's Grassroots program.


Minister Manley and Premier Tobin view some of the work produced by students under the program

This new agreement states that by the end of the year, all the libraries throughout the province will also be connected, and by the deadline of March 31, 2001, all other community facilities such as community centers will be connected.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on the youth of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada concerning this new agreement. Both provincial and federal governments want to see job opportunities created for young people that are information based. Hopefully by the year 2001 this goal will be reached, making Newfoundland the first province in the first country to have all its people connected by way of the Internet.


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