$62.1 Million for Computers and Technology

Department of Education and Culture (to July 99)

May 29, 1998 9:55 AM

A $62.1-million investment in Nova Scotia's schools, universities
and communities will put thousands of new computers and
technological links at the fingertips of students, teachers,
businesses and community members across Nova Scotia.

The Information Economy Initiative is a three-year
federal-provincial project under the Economic Diversification
Agreement designed to stimulate economic development and learning
in every corner of the province. The three main components
include technology in schools, projects at three of Nova Scotia's
information technology-focused universities, and increased
technology for community economic development.

Premier Russell MacLellan and John Manley, federal Minister of
Industry and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency, made the announcement today at Dalhousie
University. They were joined by Senator Al Graham, Leader of the
Government in the Senate and Minister responsible for Nova
Scotia, Manning MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and
Tourism, Robbie Harrison, Minister of Education and Culture, as
well as education, business and community representatives.

"This is the single largest injection of technology in Nova
Scotia's history," said Premier MacLellan. "Communities from
Neils Harbour to Yarmouth will benefit from increased access to
information technology. This project will help business in every
part of the province to compete in new markets, lead to a highly
trained workforce and create opportunities for all Nova
Scotians."

"The federal government is committed to making Canada the most
connected nation in the world," said Mr. Manley. "This project
not only connects Nova Scotians, but it also provides new
opportunities for learning, interacting, transacting new
business, and developing the province's social and economic
potential."

Nova Scotia's schools are receiving a $35.3-million technology
boost. Over three years, the program will provide thousands of
computers and hundreds of local area networks in schools and
communities across the province. Schools will also develop
partnerships with local communities and business organizations to
ensure computer access and to support communities in gaining
technology skills. Professional development for teachers and
technical support for schools are also part of the package.
Other elements include curriculum software development and an
enhanced technology recycling program.

An investment of $19 million is being made in information
technology development at Nova Scotia universities. This
initially will involve Dalhousie, Acadia and the University
College of Cape Breton, with plans to eventually link all
universities and colleges. Projects include a high-speed research
network and increased information technology infrastructure,
centres of excellence for IT training, and support for
business/industry partnership programs.

The project also gives all Nova Scotians access to the Internet
and information technology, thanks to a $6.8-million investment
in community access programs. Industry Canada's Community Access
Program (CAP) was created to bring public Internet access to
rural Canadians. Up to 100 additional CAP sites will be added in
communities across the province, opening the door to new
partnerships to support local business, employment and on-line
training.

Additional funding will also be provided for the Strait East Nova
Community Enterprise Network Smart Region project. "Communities
in Nova Scotia appreciate the opportunities today's announcement
will provide them," said project director John Ouellette. "We
accept the challenges before us, and together with government and
business, we will continue to use information technology to build
and support sustainable, engaged and healthy communities."

The Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on Economic
Diversification is managed federally by the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and
provincially by the Department of Economic Development and
Tourism.


NOTE: The following is intended for use by broadcast media.


     Nova Scotians will soon have thousands of new computers

and other technology links at their fingertips.

     Over the next three years, the federal and provincial

governments will pump 62-million-dollars into schools,

universities and communities in every corner of the province.

     Premier Russell MacLellan calls it the biggest

injection of technology in Nova Scotia history.

Communities from Neils Harbour to Yarmouth will benefit.

     Industry Minister John Manley says the federal

government is committed to making Canada the most

connected nation in the world.

     The dollars will be shared three ways . . . Nova

Scotia's schools are getting a 35-million-dollar technology

boost.

     Nineteen-million-dollars will go to Dalhousie,

Acadia and the University College of Cape Breton --

with plans to eventually link all universities and colleges.

     And almost seven-million-dollars will be spent in

community access programs to support economic development

across the province.

-30-

Contact: Catherine MacIsaac
         Education and Culture
         902-424-2795
         E-mail: macisacl@ednet.ns.ca

         Steve Fairbairn
         Economic Development and Tourism
         902-424-5836
         E-mail: fairbair@gov.ns.ca

         Jennifer Sloan
         Office of the Minister of Industry
         613-995-9001

         David Kaulback
         ACOA Nova Scotia
         902-426-9305

ngr                     May 29, 1998              9:55 a.m.