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December 19, 2008
For immediate release

Computers for Communities Initiative to Help Island Community Groups Stay Connected

Provincial Treasury

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Not-for-profit community groups and charitable organizations across the Island can now receive refurbished computers, free of charge, thanks to a partnership between Industry Canada and the Prince Edward Island Provincial Treasury. This week, Provincial Treasurer Wes Sheridan visited the Seniors College in Montague to see, first-hand, how the Computers for Communities Initiative (P.E.I.) is helping Island community groups stay connected.

This new initiative falls under the umbrella of the Computers for Schools (CFS) program, a national partnership between Industry Canada and non-profit licensees across Canada. Surplus computers, which have been donated by the public and private sector, are refurbished and given to schools, libraries and non-profit learning organizations throughout the country. Industry Canada is contributing $129 940 towards the Computers for Schools program in P.E.I. for 2008/09.

Schools require Pentium 4 level computers, but CFS also receives many Pentium III level computers and wants to find good use for them. The Computers for Communities (P.E.I.) Initiative will make sure these make their way to not-for-profit community organizations.

“Community groups across this province are working tirelessly to improve the lives of all Islanders,” said Minister Sheridan. “This initiative will ensure these not-for profit groups have access to technology that will help them in their day-to-day operations. I’m very proud that our employees are so dedicated to delivering this worthwhile program.”

Provincial Treasury employees are administering the program on P.E.I.

“Industry Canada's Computers for Schools program is very proud to partner with the Prince Edward Island government in a computer refurbishing effort that has allowed the province to play a leading role in the effective redeployment of technologies into communities,” said the Honourable Minister of Industry Tony Clement. “The program makes a concrete contribution to closing the digital gap through an innovative leveraging of resources among the public, private and non-profit sectors. CFS is making great progress in assisting P.E.I. to prepare its communities to fully participate in the knowledge-based economy.”

“Gaining a full classroom of computers allowed Seniors College to expand our programming into Montague,” said Seniors College President Ian Scott. “We were able to respond to requests from Islanders wishing the opportunity to gain new skills in a supportive and very accessible environment. Whether at a basic or more advanced skill level, our programs have been very popular. This program quickly put much needed computers into a community situation where, coupled with an excellent teacher in Pat Hayes, they are making a real difference.”

To qualify for the CFC (P.E.I.) Initiative, a community group or charitable organization must have not-for-profit status, which may be provincially or federally granted.

Computers for Schools, co-founded in 1993 by Industry Canada and the TelecomPioneers, refurbishes computers and related equipment donated by governments and businesses. More than 931 000 computers have been distributed across Canada to schools, libraries and non-profit learning organizations.

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Media Contact: Jennifer MacDonald-Donovan
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