to enhance the ability of Canadian communities
to utilize electronic public space.
In developing this framework both parties agree that:
all Canadians should be able to participate effectively in
community-based communications and share the new tools of
community-based communications encompass both community networks
and community access sites;
a community network should inter-connect the citizens of its
community and provide them with opportunities for public and
community networks support both geographical and virtual
communities and thus strengthen and help to define the diverse
communities of Canada;
community networks consider public access sites and other special
efforts as essential to ensuring that those who face various
barriers to effective participation in electronic public space and
the use of on-line services are given special consideration and
assistance, including the disabled, the disadvantaged and those
unskilled in the use of new communications tools;
an effective national community networking organization is
required to undertake a number of activities and roles which are
not possible at the community level.
TC and Industry Canada will work together closely to enhance the cause of
community networking in Canada by taking the following cooperative
Provide, with the assistance of the regional associations, on
going support for Community Networks/Community Access sites across
Jointly seek the support and advice of all stakeholders to further
develop and define community based communications.
Devise criteria for evaluating the level and types of service
needed to properly serve the needs of communities.
Assist Community Access Program sites to expand their services to
become full community networks and assist community networks to
establish public access points where these are not now available.
Jointly explore and promote opportunities to enhance the long term
development and sustainability of community networks/community
Assist, in consultation with the developers of the Chebucto Suite
software, with the administration and support required to
maximize its benefit to Community Networks and community access
Promote development of partnerships with the small business,
industry, non-profit and governmental sectors.
Help communities better anticipate the emerging information
highway and universal access policy priorities of the federal,
provincial and municipal governments and to participate in policy
development that relates to community and community networking
Raise awareness about and foster public discussion about how
effective use of telecommunications and the new media can help in
community development and assist communities in retaining their
autonomy and choosing their own directions.
Identify, and jointly act to address, essential consultative,
research and policy priorities.
Describe governance model(s) that communities can apply to their
own circumstances for the design and utilization of local
electronic public space as a public commons.
Ensure that the lessons learned from experience can be turned into
common practices that can be shared among communities.
Telecommunities Canada will undertake to advise the Government of
Canada, in partnership with Industry Canada, on questions
relating to citizen access and electronic public space, and the
impact of transition to electronic public services.
Telecommunities Canada and Industry Canada will work together on
the international front to help other countries to better
appreciate the benefits of community participation in achieving
greater connectedness in open systems and the implementation
options they have.
Electronic public space is a shared learning space. It is the community
that is the network, not the technology. The creation of a community
network extends the idea of community into a shared electronic public
space, a new not-for-profit transaction space, where the impact on
community values and social interaction is worked out in new ways. The
role of community networking is to turn experience of that transition into
The purpose of public access points is to ensure that all citizens not
only those who can afford their own personal equipment and connections,
can access the on-line resources offered by community networks and their
Telecommunities Canada is an association of associations that expresses
the collective interests of members and provides a means for them to
connect in joint action. Telecommunities Canada s primary role is to find
the means of rendering local community network learning into a common
knowledge base that is generally accessible to anyone who might want to
use it. Community networks are grassroots organizations. Their continuing
growth depends on sustaining self-organized local initiatives.
Telecommunities Canada assists electronic community networks in augmenting
the means available to communities to participate in and control the
socio-economic and political restructuring that affects them.
Industry Canada is the federal government department which is, inter alia,
the focal point for implementing the provisions of the Telecommunications
Act and for accelerating the roll-out of the information highway in
This cooperative effort will start no later than August 31, 1997
and will be jointly reviewed by both parties to determine
accomplishments on every anniversary until 2001.
This framework will be announced mutually as convenient and
subsequent announcements will provide for joint participation and
The operational details of this framework will be jointly
discussed and agreed upon by both parties before December 31,