News Release Archive

The provincial government is looking for ways to promote the
presence of French as one of the languages in common use on the
information highway.

The minister responsible for the Technology and Science
Secretariat Gerald O'Malley and the minister responsible for
Acadian Affairs Wayne Gaudet, will work together to identify such
opportunities as part of a national agreement between ministers
responsible for the information highway.

Federal/provincial/territorial ministers held an inaugural
one-day meeting in Winnipeg last week to discuss a wide variety
of information highway policy issues common to all levels of

Among the topics discussed were: protection of personal
information being transported over government and public
telecommunication networks; providing universal access to basic
information highway services to the general public; the promotion
of electronic commerce across government; joint delivery of
electronic services through all levels of government; and, the
promotion of the use of french on the information highway.

"As a first step, I will ask the government Internet working
group to develop a strategy for increasing the content of French
on the Government of Nova Scotia web site," said Mr. O'Malley. "I
will also be working with Mr. Gaudet, to develop links between
government research, development, and  marketing programs and 
Nova Scotia firms that can develop French language  content' for
the information highway."

Mr. O'Malley said delegates from across the Country spoke
convincingly in Winnipeg of the need for promoting greater
presence of french on the information superhighway.

"They called attention to the fact that the overwhelming language
of applications like the Internet is English. Part of our role in
government is to encourage diversity. It is also a matter of an
identifiable need," Mr. O'Malley said.

He said the acceptance of technology in Francophone communities
across Nova Scotia is significant through vehicles like the
College De L'Acadie. "It is also smart economics. There has been
a tremendous growth in service sector jobs in Francophone areas.
In many cases these jobs are telecommunications related."

Mr. Gaudet said there are over 40,000 people of Acadian heritage
in Nova Scotia. "Many more have a working knowledge of French.
There is an expanding market for French language information
products and services and there are firms here capable of taking
advantage of these market opportunities."

The Winnipeg meeting was the first in a series of consultations
between provincial, federal and territorial ministers responsible
for the information highway. Another meeting is scheduled for
Buctouche, N.B. in June, 1997.


Contact: Todd Brown  902-424-7678

trp                   Oct. 11, 1996 - 10:10 a.m