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Federal program finds new homes for old computers
A 20-year-old federal program that sees surplus computers donated to schools and public libraries was rebooted last week in Port Coquitlam.
Industry Minister and Tri-City MP James Moore renewed the Conservative’s commitment of $36 million for Computers for Schools — one of the pillars of Digital Canada 150, an initiative that aims to get the country more tech savvy in the lead up to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
“We want to make sure we are united as a county,” Moore told students at Ecole Maple Creek middle school at a press conference last Friday.
Since 1993, Computers for Schools has delivered more than 1.3 million refurbished computers to schools, public libraries, non-profit learning centres and First Nations communities across Canada.
Young interns with the Technical Work Experience Program update the surplus computers and wipe clean the hard drives for re-use. Under the program, only IBM-compatible computers with Pentium IV level or up and Macintosh computers with PowerMac G4 level or higher are accepted.
Mary-Em Waddington, executive director of B.C. Technology for Learning Society, said her organization has benefitted and, as a result, students have had better access to technology.
In April, Moore officially launched Digital Canada 150, a communications mandate that includes 39 targets such as supplying high-speed internet to more than 98% of Canadians; protecting online transactions and privacy; capping domestic wireless roaming rates; and helping small- to medium-sized businesses tap into more technology. It also incorporates a new anti-spam law that comes into effect on July 1.