Frequently asked questions

  1. What happened to the Community Access Program (CAP)?
  2. Why did the Government of Canada end federal funding for CAP?
  3. What happens to the Youth Employment Strategy funding that was allocated to the CAP Youth Initiative (CAP-YI)?
  4. If my local CAP site closes, how can I still get public Internet access?
  5. What other related Government of Canada programs are available to help individual CAP sites access technology?
  6. What will happen to existing CAP sites?

Question 1. What happened to the Community Access Program (CAP)?

Answer: Federal funding for CAP ended on March 31, 2012, as scheduled. CAP was launched in 1995 and has met its objectives. The majority of Canadians are now connected to the Internet at home, while many more have access through their mobile devices.

Question 2. Why did the Government of Canada end federal funding for CAP?

Answer: CAP was launched in 1995 when the Internet was in its infancy. It was then increasingly evident that the Internet would be critical to Canada's future competitiveness. The objective of the program was to encourage participation in the knowledge-based economy by maximizing the accessibility of computers and the Internet at public access points, such as public libraries, across Canada.

In 1995, only 40 percent of Canadian households had a computer and only about 10 percent of these households had Internet access. By contrast, in 2010 about 79 percent of Canadians had access to the Internet at home. Today, with the advent of smart phones, many Canadians have access to the Internet in their hands.

In addition, following the completion of the Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians program in the summer of 2012—and taking into account other provincial and private sector initiatives—fewer than 2 percent of Canadian households will be without access to basic broadband service of 1.5 megabits per second.

Question 3. What happens to the Youth Employment Strategy funding that was allocated to the CAP Youth Initiative (CAP-YI)?

Answer: Federal funding will continue to support up to 1,300 youth internships at community Internet sites per year. This will provide young Canadians with the vital skills and work experience needed to make a successful transition to the workplace while contributing to job creation. Former CAP-supported sites will continue to be eligible for youth internship funding.

Question 4. If my local CAP site closes, how can I still get public Internet access?

Answer: Most CAP sites are not dependent exclusively on federal funding and it is expected that certain sites may continue to stay open. If your local CAP site closes, and you have been using the site to access government services and are seeking an alternative, Service Canada offers single-window access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services through more than 600 points of service located across the country. To find locations in your area, please visit the Service Canada website. The Government of Canada has a number of programs available to specifically help individuals to find a job and improve their skills. For more information on these services, please call 1-800-O-CANADA.

Many public libraries across the country also provide Internet access as part of their regular core service offering, and local colleges, schools and community centres may also continue to provide public Internet access.

Question 5. What other related Government of Canada programs are available to help individual CAP sites access technology?

Answer: Schools, libraries and not-for-profit learning organizations will continue to benefit from other federal initiatives such as the Computers for Schools Program, which collects, repairs and refurbishes donated surplus computers from government and private sector sources and distributes them to schools, public libraries and not-for-profit learning organization throughout Canada. The Government of Canada will continue to support youth internships at community Internet sites.

Question 6. What will happen to existing CAP sites?

Answer: Most CAP sites are not dependent exclusively on federal funding, and it is possible that certain sites may continue to stay open. Equipment, such as computers, which was obtained by the site, or by a CAP recipient through CAP funding, will remain the property of the CAP site.

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