CAP – Is Losing Government Funding Really That Bad?

CAP is an acronym for what is known as the Community Access Program, a program committed to helping people of all ages get access and knowledge about computers and their applications, especially the internet. CAP offers what are known as CAP sites, which for the most part are run by volunteers, in which people of all ages and backgrounds can get free help with computers. CAP not only helps to bridge the divide in the digital gap but goes further than that and is about people, community and people helping each other and providing equal opportunities for all.
CAP was developed by Industry Canada and has been funded by the government since it started in 1994; however, it’s been a struggle to get by on an ever-decreasing budget from the government. Each consecutive year, the government pulls more money out of the program and spends it elsewhere. In 2005, CAP had a budget of twenty-five million dollars, however, it took a steep hit when only given eight-point-eight million in 2006, odd since the government speaks so highly of the program and their success. However, is the decrease in government funding going to be the end for this ever-important program in this new technological age? Or is decreased government funding not so bad after all?
To survive hard times all you need is support, and that is exactly what CAP has, support from its community members and even more from its volunteers; people who are committed to the program and won’t go down without a fight. There are unlimited places to receive funding other than the government, and definitely enough funding to keep this program alive. Reaching out to the community would not only be beneficial in gaining funding but also is a way to speak about the program to some that may need it but haven’t heard about it before. Furthermore, with less government funding, comes less rules and the less say the government has in running the program, allowing volunteers and coordinators to expand and allow themselves to run the program the way that they and their community see fit, as communities differ so should the CAP. It would almost be nice to see decreased funding from the government and more from the community, making it more a community project where more people can get involved and get reciprocation with the program. I could even see them doing a community day as a fundraiser to bridge the digital divide, such as car-free days down on Commercial Drive, not only is it a way to have fun with the program but to also get recognition and funding for the program.
CAP is an amazing program that has the ability to use technology to bring communities together to help one another in a time when knowing the technology is everything.


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