A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Access to information cut by Feds.

This from The globeandmail is very troubling particularly for the rural communities and those for whom internet access is a luxury they can ill afford. The internet is in my view one of the few tools left to keep tabs upon government actions, both good and bad, federal or provincial, and is increasingly becoming essential in order to dig out the truth. That many of those who’s funding has been cut are those trying to help the less fortunate in out society, or those providing internet services to those who may not otherwise have it available for one reason or another, simply reinforces the belief that those in power to do everything they can to block information access from the general public. To eliminate funding for such help groups whether within 25km or within 1km of a library or not, particularly given the very modest amounts quoted, shows a total disregard and understanding of the operation and needs of such groups.

“The Conservative government is quietly cutting funding to hundreds of community groups and even hospitals that provide free Internet access to Canadians who might not otherwise have a chance to get online.

Organizations that benefit from Industry Canada's 16-year-old Community Access Program began receiving letters last week informing them that sites located within 25 kilometres of a public library would no longer be eligible for cash.

Groups had been receiving between $4,000 and $5,000 a year to buy computers and other hardware, such as printers and wireless routers; to pay for technical support and skills training; and sometimes to pay for the connection bills.

Organizations that have used the program include employment and youth drop-in centres, English-as-a-second-language programs, libraries, and seniors groups.

In rural areas, such organizations are often clustered in the middle of town and near the local library, meaning they are the most likely to be hit by the change in funding criteria.”

I said in a recent post that “the austerity program is about to commence” and I believe that there will be MUCH more along these lines, its not that government does not need to control spending but more about where those spending cuts will take place. We must take very close notice of the disconnect between what our governments at all levels say and what they actual do. I for one believe that past and current actions speak much more clearly to the direction our leaders wish to take us than the spin and BS that they feed us on a daily basis.

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