Providing refurbished computers to schools and community groups across Canada for free
Industry Minister announces new investment to expand Computers for Schools to more Canadians
June 5, 2015 – Burnaby, British Columbia – Industry Canada
While many children enjoy the opportunities that digital technology offers, not all have access to computers. With the Canadian economy becoming increasingly digital, access to technology is an integral part of a child’s education. The Computers for Schools program has played an important role in increasing access to technology for Canadian youth, ensuring they can learn the skills needed to take advantage of a modern digital world.
Today, James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, announced new funds to expand Computers for Schools to non-profit organizations that support low-income Canadians and new Canadians with access to refurbished equipment and digital skills training.
He underscored the importance of this program for B.C.: since 2010–11 Computers for Schools has delivered over 36,000 refurbished computers and employed 93 local youth in internship positions throughout the province. The increased funding will allow Computers for Schools B.C. to distribute 19,500 computers over the next three years to schools and non-profit community organizations throughout the province.
Computers are donated from government, private business and individuals for use by schools, libraries, registered not-for-profit learning organizations and Aboriginal communities. The program has helped extend the useful life of computer equipment, reducing the overall environmental impact of electronic waste.
Providing young Canadians with the opportunities, information and education they need to succeed is essential for Canada’s long-term economic prosperity. Eligible recipient organizations get access to computer equipment at no cost, giving Canadians who may not otherwise have exposure to technology the opportunity to develop critical literacy skills. Youth also benefit from paid, practical work internships where they can develop more advanced digital skills.
- Since its establishment in 1993, Computers for Schools has refurbished and donated over 1.4 million computers nationwide.
- In B.C., Computers for Schools has delivered approximately 144,000 pieces of equipment since 1993, including 9,051 pieces in 2014–15.
- The program has provided 6,000 young Canadians with valuable experience working with digital technologies as part of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy.
- For every dollar invested by the Government of Canada, Computers for Schools receives almost two dollars of in-kind contribution from Canadian partners and corporations.
- The Computers for Schools program received $36 million over four years in Budget 2014, and Economic Action Plan 2015 committed $2 million over two years, starting in 2016–17.
- The Connecting Canadians program, a Budget 2014 commitment, is providing $305 million over five years to extend and enhance access to high-speed broadband networks at target speeds of five megabits per second (Mbps) for an additional 280,000 Canadian households. The Government recently announced that it exceeded all targets in the first round of partnership approvals, bringing high-speed Internet access to more than 356,000 homes across Canada.
“Today, access to a computer and high-speed Internet is essential for learning and communication. Our government wants to ensure that Canada’s youth have the skills and education they need to access a wide range of employment opportunities. The funding announced today will create new opportunities for community groups to help low-income and new Canadians build their digital skills, train for jobs and fully participate in the digital economy.
– James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia
“Many persons with disabilities are living on very low incomes and because of that, their access to computers is very difficult or nonexistent. Today’s donation of computer technology from the Computers for Schools program to the Neil Squire Society will enable us to empower more Canadians with disabilities to be part of the digital community, a key component to fully participating in society. We are extremely grateful to both Industry Canada and the Computers for Schools program for this very important support.”
– Gary Birch, Executive Director, Neil Squire Society
“Many Canadian homes still do not have a computer to support student learning outcomes or connect to the Internet. We welcome the news of this additional funding to partner with community agencies throughout the province in bridging the last realm of the digital divide.”
– Mary-Em Waddington, Executive Director, B.C. Technology for Learning Society, which operates Computers for Schools B.C.
Office of the Minister of Industry