Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut May 25, 2012 - 2:13 pm

Nunavut steps in to save free public internet sites

“It is very important to provide that service to our communities”

JIM BELL
Premier Eva Aariak at a press conference in Iqaluit announcing that her government will step in to fund free public internet sites funded under the CAP program that the federal government eliminated this past March. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)
Premier Eva Aariak at a press conference in Iqaluit announcing that her government will step in to fund free public internet sites funded under the CAP program that the federal government eliminated this past March. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

The Government of Nunavut will spend $85,000 a year from the budget of the Department of Education to preserve free internet access sites in 20 Nunavut communities, Premier Eva Aariak said May 25.

“It is very important to provide that service to our communities in Nunavut, especially when those communities are so far from one another,” Aariak said.

This past April, N-CAP, the Nunavut organization that received and administered money from the federal Community Access Program, learned the Harper government had eliminated the program in its budget this past March.

The volunteers who run CAP sites across Nunavut, most of which operate out of libraries or schools, feared numerous lower income residents would lose access to the internet.

“Even if people have their own computers, the cost of internet here is such that most families cannot afford it,” Kim Crockatt, director of the Nunavut Literacy Council, told Nunatsiaq News this past April.

Many residents use CAP sites to update and print resumés, look for jobs and search for information.

Aariak, who also serves as minister of education, said the GN money will replace the funds that Ottawa has cut.

“In today’s society it is so important that we keep up with the times in using technology in Nunavut,” Aariak said.

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