News Release Archive




Atlantic Canada is going on-line.

Meeting today in Summerside, the Atlantic premiers approved a
proposal to establish Atlantic Canada On-Line as a primary source
for electronic distribution of government information in the
region. A consortium lead by UniSys Canada has been selected
through a competitive procurement process as the preferred
supplier to operate the service. The consortium brings together a
unique combination of skills and experience to establish a
strategic alliance with government.

The goals of this initiative are to improve service and
information access, decrease costs, and provide new sources of
non-tax revenues while ensuring personal privacy and the public's
right to information. It will be the first regional on-line
government information system in the country.

"This is an excellent example of regional cooperation that
enhances economic opportunity in all four provinces", said Nova
Scotia Premier John Savage. "Information is the raw material in
the knowledge-based economy, and Atlantic Canada On-Line will
make that raw material easily available to the growing
knowledge-based sector in the region."

Final details of the partnership between the four provinces and
the consortium are being negotiated. The arrangement will see the
private company finance and operate the service, while the
governments' contribution will be the information.

In addition to its potential as an economic asset, the premiers
said Atlantic Canada On-Line will help the governments improve
service delivery and efficiency, and will enhance the reputation
of the region as a leader in the information economy.

"Companies looking to do business here will see Atlantic Canada
On-Line as a very positive development. Regional cooperation on
crucial economic initiatives will attract a lot of interest and
investment," said Prince Edward Island Premier Catherine

"The potential of information technology as a tool to improve
service to the public is virtually unlimited," said Newfoundland
Premier Clyde Wells. "By combining our efforts in a regional
on-line service we are further enhancing that potential. On-Line
isn't limited by considerations like business hours or geographic

Premier Frank McKenna of New Brunswick said Atlantic Canada
On-Line will enhance the efficiency of all four governments.
"Public information will be readily available, on-line. That
means fewer hours searching for information to respond to
inquiries and more hours devoted to other services to the

Major partners with UniSys in the consortium are Ameritech,
Corporate Research Associates Inc. and Software Kinetics. The
service is expected to begin early in 1996.


Contact: Information Officer
         Conference of Atlantic Premiers



The Conference of Atlantic premiers announced today the
establishment of a French Language Instructional Resources
Development Fund to assist the four departments of education to
develop and/or adapt instructional resources for use in French
language schools. The fund will subsidize the developmental costs
of student textbooks, teacher's guides and educational software
required to implement the common core curriculum in the Atlantic
region. This subsidy will allow school boards and schools to
acquire French language instructional resources at prices
comparable to English language resources.

The premiers will provide a grant of $447,500 over the next five
years to establish the fund. This amount represents 50 percent of
the estimated needs of the four departments of education. The
Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation (APEF) will submit a
funding proposal to Canadian Heritage through the Official
Languages Support Programs to match this amount. Canadian
Heritage has demonstrated an interest in this initiative.

"We have been impressed by the high level of cooperation between
our education systems and are pleased to commit funds for
French language education", said Premier John Savage of Nova

"Providing French language resources to schools is a constant
challenge for departments of education", said Premier Frank
McKenna of New Brunswick. "As the costs of developing and
adapting instructional materials in French are very high due to
the limited market. This fund will enable departments of
education to more effectively meet the needs of French language

Premier Catherine Callbeck of Prince Edward Island said, "our
decision to establish this fund will undoubtedly assist the
departments of education in the implementation of the common core

Also during today's meeting, the Atlantic premiers expressed
congratulations to their ministers of education on the
establishment of the Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation
(APEF) on Sept. 20, 1995. The APEF succeeds the Maritime
Provinces Education Foundation which was founded in 1982. 
Premier Clyde Wells of Newfoundland indicated his distinct
pleasure in establishing the Resources Development Fund in
support of the APEF's initiatives. The Atlantic Provinces
Education Foundation will assume management of the French
Language Instructional Resources Development Fund.


Contact: Rheal Poirier
         Regional Coordinator
         Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation



The premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and
Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, at their meeting today in
Summerside, reviewed progress on the creation of an Atlantic
Investment Fund. They are pleased to announce that all three
major participants, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the
seven major Canadian banks, and the four provinces have concluded
negotiations to create a $30 million fund. Other private sector
investors have also been invited to participate.

The fund will provide much-needed venture capital in the region
for small and medium-sized businesses.

Representatives of the three major participants met today in
Halifax to finalize details of implementation and a formal
announcement by all participants will be made in the near future.

-30 -

Contact: Information Officer
         Conference of Atlantic Premiers



The premiers of the four Atlantic provinces today discussed
proposed revisions to the Atlantic Procurement Agreement (APA).
The APA sets forth the procurement practices to be followed by
the four governments and their agencies.

The premiers noted that substantial progress has been achieved to
date in eliminating barriers for Atlantic businesses wishing to
do business with the provincial governments and their agencies in
the Atlantic region. The revised agreement will maintain the
existing conditions under which the four governments are to
eliminate from their procurement practices discrimination based
on the province of origin for goods, services and construction. 
The revisions are required to include academic institutions,
school boards and hospitals, to ensure that the agreement is
consistent with the Agreement on Internal Trade, and to improve
the wording and administration of the agreement. New Brunswick
and Newfoundland have agreed to include their municipalities
while discussions in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are

"Including these sectors in the Atlantic Procurement Agreement
will open additional markets to suppliers throughout the region,
and at the same time produce opportunities for cost savings by
our municipalities, academic institutions, school boards and
hospitals", said the premiers. Discussions are ongoing to bring
regulated public utilities under the APA.

Under the existing agreement, the Maritime provinces have been
jointly purchasing some commodities for the last several years. 
The Maritime provinces have agreed to establish a purchasing
authority to formalize this process, and to provide the legal
framework to undertake joint purchasing. Newfoundland is actively
exploring the implications of becoming a partner in the

The premiers also announced the appointment of Mr. Fred Morash as
vice-chair of the Atlantic Procurement Coordinating Committee,
the body which is responsible for monitoring compliance with the
Atlantic Procurement Agreement. Mr. Morash is the president and
CEO of The Island Telephone Company Limited of Charlottetown. He
has many years of private sector experience and is involved in
numerous business, professional and volunteer activities. The
position of vice-chair has been vacant since Mr. Keith Russell
left that post to become chair, following the expiry of the
appointment of the previous chair, Mr. John Chipman.

-30 -

Contact: Information Officer
         Conference of Atlantic Premiers

trp                         Oct. 4, 1995