Federal government invests up to $750,000 into digital skills project

The program will help 1,800 participants coming from low-income households, seniors and new residents.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Minister Navdeep Bains announced the government is investing up to $750,000 into a Peel Multicultural Council project to focus on helping “Canadians develop essential skills to begin computing with confidence.”

Bains made the announcement at a centre located in Mississauga, Ont., during which he said the initiative will be delivered at the centres in Mississauga and Brampton, Ont.

He added that it will help about 1,800 participants coming from low-income households, seniors and new residents coming to Canada without a completed high school diploma.

“Digital skills are becoming more important every day, whether for booking a medical appointment, banking safely, studying or looking for a job. That’s why, through the Digital Literacy Exchange program, our government is supporting the Peel Multicultural Council in providing newcomers and other disadvantaged groups with training in fundamental digital skills,” Bains said in a January 11th, 2019 press release.

Funding for the program is coming from the Digital Literacy Exchange program, the release said. Parliamentary Secretary to Navdeep Bains, David Lametti, announced the program last year, which is designed to “support basic computer skills training for Canadians who need it most.” It provides knowledge to understand how to use computers and the internet safely and securely.

At the time, Lametti said the government was funding $29.5-million for the program and made a call to not-for-profit organizations that teach digital literacy skills to register and participate in the program.

Funding for projects is available from 2018-19 to 2021-22.

This is among other initiatives that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has launched to help families from low-income households.

In November 2018, the government launched its ‘Connecting Families’ initiative. The program provides eligible Canadians with 10Mbps download speeds, a monthly allotment of 100GB of internet, free installation and a modem rental for $9.99 per month including taxes.

Rogers was among the first carriers to pledge its participation and in January, the national carrier announced that it has 300 housing partners working alongside its ‘Connected for Success’ low-cost internet program.

Meanwhile, in October 2019, Telus launched an independent charitable organization that would help disadvantaged youth in Canada navigate the social and economic challenges.


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