CFSC’s new website highlighting the human impacts of the CFS program

CFSC-OPEC is pleased to announce the launch of its newly re-designed website!  Https://cfsc-opec.org has been re-imagined to reflect the positive impacts that programs CFSC-OPEC supports have on communities and individuals across Canada.

Testimonials were obtained through a pan-Canadian video production conducted in 2018 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the program. They are broad in scope, capturing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of Government of Canada programs and initiatives that CFSC helps deliver.

“I was overwhelmed. I thought they were joking, actually, when they said that this computer was for me, so I was feeling pretty grateful,” recalls Kayla, a program recipient.  “And I still use it — every day at work. I probably wouldn’t have my job if it weren’t for that computer”.

From the Computers for Schools (CFS) Internship Program, where youth gain valuable digital work experience, to the digital inclusion initiatives that have provided marginalized Canadians with computers for over 25 years, the new website illustrates the multiple benefits of technology donations when they are refurbished and redistributed.

“At CFSC-OPEC, we are confident in the impacts of the projects we support, thanks to the dedicated network of affiliate organizations in every province and territory,” said Toby-Harper-Merrett Executive Director of CFSC. “These benefits are felt in communities across Canada, every day.  We hope that our new website will enable others to share the powerful impacts these public investments have, and the value of donating used technology to the CFS program.”

Kate, from the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria reflects on how “the computers help ease the transition for newcomers and help them move forward in their resettlement. When we can say “here’s a computer” we’re really allowing them to function on a level our society is expecting. And it goes beyond that. It’s a symbol and a gesture that allows them to feel that ‘Yes. I am a Canadian.’”

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CFSC celebrates the initial success of Connecting Families and the important role of corporate technology donors

CFSC-OPEC is proudly celebrating the ongoing Government of Canada Connecting Families initiative, made available to hundreds of thousands of low-income Canadians since November 2018.

Announced in Budget 2017, this initiative was conceived as a means of helping to make home Internet more affordable and bridging a digital divide that leaves 1.3 million Canadian families without a residential connection.

“CFSC-OPEC is very pleased to help deliver the Connecting Families initiative,” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director of CFSC-OPEC. “With the help of corporate donors as well as the ongoing support of Internet Service Providers, Canadian families are benefitting from connectivity and opportunities for economic participation.”

“Many low-income families face financial barriers to getting online, such as the cost of purchasing a computer and the high cost of an Internet connection at home.  That’s why through this initiative our government is working with the telecom industry to ensure that all Canadians can benefit from the digital economy,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

As of March 31 2019, 17,731 families had signed up with participating Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to access this $10 Internet plan. Several ISPs, including Bell Canada, Cogeco, Shaw Communications and TELUS are also supporting the initiative through technology donation agreements for refurbishment and redistribution by the Computers for Schools program across the country.

“As a long-standing partner of CFSC-OPEC, Bell is proud to help provide Canadian families with the tools they need to take advantage of broadband access for education, personal development and community engagement,” said Marc Duchesne, Vice President, Corporate Security and Responsibility at Bell. “Last year alone Bell donated more than 8,700 computers to the program and we’re pleased to see them used to empower even more Canadians.”

“Cogeco Connexion has been part of Québec’s and Ontario’s social, economic and cultural landscape for more than 60 years, contributing to their regional and economic development. Providing equal opportunities to children and families through digital inclusion is a priority for Cogeco as well as maintaining a positive and sustainable impact on the communities in which we offer our products and services.” said Ken Smithard, President of Cogeco Connexion.

“Connectivity is the fuel that powers our daily lives, and we understand how important it is for families to have internet access in the home,” said Sanae Takahashi, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Pricing & Packaging, Shaw Communications.  “We are pleased to support the effort of CFSC-OPEC to bring the Connecting Families Initiative to life and help give families across the country the greater opportunities and benefits of a connected life.”

“We know that technology is a great equalizer, but only if we all have access to it equally. Unequal access to technology is exacerbating the unacceptable social barriers facing many Canadians,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “The TELUS team is addressing these pressing social issues, making unprecedented investments in technology to bridge geographic and socio-economic divides and supporting more vibrant and sustainable communities. We are proud to support the Government of Canada’s Connecting Families initiative, modeled after TELUS’ Internet for Good initiative. We have seen the incredible benefits this program affords and we will continue to expand our Internet for Good program, alongside Connecting Families, to offer subsidized Internet access, as well as digital literacy training and TELUS Wise support, to more than 100,000 low-income families.”

Within the first months of the initiative, over 24,831 computers had been ordered. With this level of participation in the initiative, technology donations have become increasingly important, and CFSC is very grateful for the partnerships that were signed in the past year with new corporate donors such as McCain and the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

The positive response to this program is an indication of how meaningful digital inclusion efforts, like the Connecting Families initiative, are to families and the businesses that support them across Canada.

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CFSC-OPEC welcomes Dairy Farmers of Canada as a new national technology donor to the CFS program

Computers for Success Canada (CFSC) is pleased to announce its new partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) to provide technology donations to the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools (CFS) program.  Since its creation in 1993, the CFS program has refurbished and distributed over 1.6 million computers to Indigenous communities, schools, non-profit organizations, refugees, community organizations and Canadian families at risk of exclusion from our digitizing world.

This partnership reflects DFC’s intention to donate their used technology to the Computers for Schools program, ultimately supporting the program’s mandate to improve access to digital technology for potentially marginalized Canadians. This national donation partnership will also help support the Government of Canada’s Connecting Families initiative, which was launched in November 2018. This initiative offers low-income families access to home Internet service at a reduced cost of 10$ per month. Up to 50,000 free refurbished computers are also made available to eligible families.

“In committing to donate used technology, Dairy Farmers of Canada joins the many national brands that have donated technology in support of the inclusion of all Canadians in the digitizing economy,” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director, CFSC-OPEC. “Furthermore, the program ensures computers are reused, providing significant environmental benefits compared to recycling, and the program provides technical work experience for youth interns across Canada.”

“Dairy Farmers of Canada is pleased to support causes that encourage community stewardship and innovation, because they are core values of our organization,” said Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. “We are happy to partner with CFSC to fulfill the objectives of this initiative and to help empower its participants across Canada by giving them access to technology.”

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CFSC is proud to add Cogeco to its list of multi-provincial donors to the CFS program

Computers for Success Canada (CFSC) is pleased to welcome Cogeco as a new multi-province technology donor to the Computers for Schools (CFS) program. Since 1993, this Government of Canada program has refurbished and distributed over 1.6 million computers to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and eligible low-income families.

This partnership confirms Cogeco’s intention to donate its used technology to the CFS program and reflects its support of the program’s intent to deliver improved access to technology for Canadians at risk of digital exclusion. This multi-year multi-province partnership will also help support the Government of Canada’s Connecting Families Initiative, that offers low-income families access to home Internet for 10 dollars per month. Connecting Families also offers eligible recipients access to a free computer so that they can further benefit from the initiative.

“In committing to donate used technology to the CFS program, Cogeco joins the many national brands that have demonstrated a commitment to digital inclusion and equity for marginalized Canadian populations,” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director, CFSC-OPEC. “Furthermore, the program ensures computers are reused, providing significant environmental benefits as compared to disposal alternatives, and provides digital work experience for CFS Interns across Canada.” On a yearly basis, the CFS program hires more than 300 youth interns.

Internet and computer access can be fundamental to a child’s success in school, finding employments opportunities, and being a part of social network communities. The access provided by the CFS program helps include populations that might otherwise be further excluded from the digitizing economy.

“At Cogeco, we are excited about this new partnership with Computers for Success Canada, which not only allows us to have a positive social  impact on Canadian families, but also to find a new life for our used technology,” said Elizabeth Alves, Vice President of Internal Audit and Risk Management, who is responsible for the Corporate Social Responsibility function at Cogeco. “This is in line with our objective to manage our electronic waste with the highest environmental and security standards.

Technology donations received from the public sector, and from companies such as Cogeco help CFS achieve its sustainable environmental, social and economic impacts.

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McCain joins national technology donors to the CFS program

Computers for Success Canada (CFSC) is pleased to welcome McCain Foods as a new multi-province technology donor to the Computers for Schools (CFS) program. Since 1993, this Government of Canada program has refurbished and distributed over 1.6 million computers to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and eligible low-income families.

With this partnership McCain adds its name to the list of national brands that have chosen to support digital inclusion by donating their used technology to the CFS program.

“In committing to donate used technology to the CFS program, McCain will help the program deliver improved access to digital technology for populations in Canada most at risk of digital exclusion, said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director, CFSC-OPEC. For the past 25 years, the Computers for Schools program has provided millions of Canadians with resources and opportunities to build essential digital skills.”

Refurbishment also represents a sustainable solution for donated equipment, while providing valuable work experience to CFS interns who are at the heart of the CFS program. On a yearly basis, the program hires more than 300 youth interns.

“McCain Foods is delighted to donate our outgoing digital assets to Computers for Success Canada”, says Steven Brewer, Regional IT Manager, Americas, McCain Foods Limited.  “Supporting this program is a fantastic way to further our sustainability efforts, while supporting a great cause across our Canadian communities.”

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CFSC-OPEC partners with Shaw Communications to donate computers to organizations across Canada

Pathways to Education to receive computers to support students in low-income communities across Canada in achieving educational success

Computers for Success –Canada Inc. (CFSC) is pleased to announce its partnership with Shaw Communications to donate computer equipment through the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools (CFS) program– which has distributed more than $450 million worth of computers to schools, Indigenous communities, non-profits, and low-income families since 1993.

To launch this partnership, Shaw and Computers for Schools will distribute more than 300 computers to Pathways to Education (Pathways) – a national, charitable organization working to help youth in low-income communities to graduate from high school and successfully transition to post-secondary education, training, or employment. This important donation will help to level the playing field for Pathways students across Canada. The partnership between CFSC and Shaw also includes technology donations to the BC Technology for Learning Society for the CFS program in BC as a first step in a potential national partnership.

“Every child, no matter what their background is, deserves access to the essential equipment they need to get the most out of their education,“ said Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, External Affairs, Shaw Communications. “This partnership with Computers for Success to support Pathways will help ensure that more kids in Canada have the opportunity to succeed in school now, and are set up for success in their future.”

“In committing to donate used computers, Shaw joins the many national brands that have contributed in this way to support access to economic development for all Canadians since the CFS program’s launch, 25 years ago” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director, CFSC-OPEC. “Furthermore, the program ensures computers are reused rather than recycled, and provides technical work experience for youth across Canada.” On a yearly basis, the CFS program hires more than 300 youth interns.

“Many students do not have access to a computer or the internet to complete their homework. Access to digital learning tools are essential for high school students on their path to achieving educational success,” says Sue Gillespie, President and CEO, Pathways to Education Canada. “We are grateful for this partnership between Shaw and Computers for Success, making it possible for hundreds of Pathways students from coast to coast to develop 21st century skills and realize their true potential.”

“I knew I wanted to go into IT when I was in Grade 9,” says Abdul, a Pathways alumnus who graduated from high school in 2011. “I didn’t have a computer until I came to Canada, but as soon as I got one, I started to learn things about it, and doing all these cool things that I didn’t know were possible. That’s what got me interested in technology.”

Now, Abdul is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Business Technology Management program, and works at Pathways to Education Canada as a Program Support Analyst. Looking ahead, he dreams of becoming a Chief Technology Officer or creating his own startup company.

Through their partnership, Shaw and Computers for Success Canada will make a significant impact in the lives of Canada’s young people living in low-income communities, supporting the future success of young people like Abdul.

About the CFS program

Computers for Schools is a pan-Canadian program that refurbishes computers donated by government, businesses and individuals, for use by schools, registered not-for-profit organizations and low-income families.

About CFSC-OPEC

Computers for Success – Canada Inc. | Ordinateurs pour l’excellence – Canada Inc. (CFSC-OPEC) is a not-for-profit organization, established in 2005, supporting the impacts of Government of Canada digital inclusion and economic development programs. CFSC-OPEC’s services stand in four pillars – marketing and communications, partnership development, strategic planning, and project management.

About Shaw

Shaw Communications Inc. is a leading Canadian connectivity company. The Wireline division consists of Consumer and Business services. Consumer serves residential customers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Business provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, digital phone and video services. The Wireless division provides wireless voice and LTE data services through an expanding and improving mobile wireless network infrastructure.

Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX – SJR.B, SJR.PR.A, SJR.PR.B, NYSE – SJR, and TSXV – SJR.A). For more information, please visit www.shaw.ca

About Pathways to Education

Pathways to Education is a national, charitable organization breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Its award-winning program is creating positive social change by supporting youth living in low-income communities to overcome barriers to education, graduate from high

 

school, and build the foundation for a successful future. Through the collective power of partnerships, Pathways to Education’s innovative program is preparing youth for tomorrow.

To learn more, visit www.pathwaystoeducation.ca

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CFSC-OPEC proud of its role in the Government of Canada’s Connecting Families initiative

Computers for Success – Canada Inc. (CFSC) is proud of the key role it has played in delivering Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (ISED) Connecting Families initiative to increase Internet accessibility for low-income Canadian families.

Working with ISED and Internet Service Provider (ISP) partners in the initiative, CFSC managed the development of a secure online portal to qualify and anonymously connect selected eligible families with ISPs voluntarily offering a $10 monthly Internet plan. The portal went live on November 12 and by the end of November, thousands of families were already being served $10 Internet.

“Access to affordable home Internet for the lowest income Canadian families creates real opportunities for those most at risk of exclusion from our digital world,” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director of CFSC. “As an organization focused on social impact, we are most proud of the team’s commitment to centering the service experience on ‘edge’ cases – those who are also perhaps living with a disability, low levels of literacy, or are facing additional challenges”.

“The Connecting Families Initiative is providing more Canadians with affordable access to Internet services and helping to bridge the digital divide. This initiative is a good example of how Government is working with the telecom industry to ensure that all Canadians can benefit from the digital economy,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).

This initiative is part of a suite of digital skills, accessibility and Internet programs that encourages the participation of more Canadians in the digital economy, so they can benefit from completing education, finding employment and accessing programs and services.

“Working on this initiative has been a unique opportunity as it brings together Government, Canada’s telecommunications industry, and the community sector, working towards a common goal of digital inclusion for more Canadian families,” added Toby Harper-Merrett.

Through the initiative, the Government of Canada is also making available 50,000 refurbished desktop computers through its Computers for Schools program. ” We are deeply appreciative of the contributions of the Computers for Schools affiliate organizations across the country that ensure households without a device to connect to the Internet can also take advantage of the Connecting Families initiative”. At the end of November, close to 20,000 computers had already been ordered through the initiative.

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Connecting Families – Internet service for low-income Canadian families

Montreal, June 7, 2018 – Today, access to residential Internet is essential to economic, social, and educational opportunity, yet many Canadian families make significant trade-offs in order to pay for it. Computers for Success – Canada Inc. (CFSC) is proud to be involved in Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (ISED) Connecting Families initiative to increase Internet affordability for low-income Canadians.

Announced by Minister Navdeep Bains at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto, the initiative brings together seven Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across the country — Bell, Cogeco, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TELUS and Videotron – that are partnering with the Government of Canada to offer low-cost service to eligible households. Connecting Families is set to run until 2022 and CFSC will develop a secure online portal that will enable eligible low-income Canadian families to access the $10 per month high speed Internet service from participating Internet Service Providers while protecting their privacy. Up to 50,000 computers will also be made available to eligible families through the Computers for Schools program.

“Computers and Internet are basic tools Canadians rely on for access to public services, education and employment, said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director of CFSC-OPEC. Our organization, and others delivering ISED’s Computers for Schools program, bring decades of community-sector knowledge to this initiative that will provide more Canadian families access to the valuable resources available to them online.”

The initiative was designed to connect low income families to the Internet. As such, Canadian families that currently receive the maximum Child Care Benefit (CCB) are eligible for this initiative. Eligible households will have access to residential wireline Internet service for $10 per month, with no less than 10 Mbps download speeds (or the fastest available) and no less than 100GB of data usage each, with no equipment or installation fees applied. As the cost of computer hardware is also a barrier for some families, a target of 50,000 computers will be distributed to eligible families through the existing Computers for Schools (CFS) program.

“Family income should not be a barrier to making an appointment or completing homework. This affordability initiative will help low-income Canadian families spend less of their household budget on Internet, and for others address significant challenges to getting online at all.” added Mr. Harper-Merrett.

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CFSC wins Microsoft 2018 IMPACT Citizenship Award

Montreal, May 23, 2018 – Computers for Success – Canada Inc. (CFSC) has been awarded the Microsoft 2018 IMPACT Citizenship Award. The award recognizes Microsoft technology partners who have a direct and immediate effect on improving the communities in which they operate, helping people realize their full potential. 

CFSC’s partnership with Microsoft serves the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools (CFS) program. Since 1993, through technical work experience internships, the CFS program has refurbished and distributed more than 1.5 million computers for schools, libraries and not-for-profit organizations across Canada.

“On behalf of Computers for Schools partner organizations, we are honoured by this recognition of the impacts of the CFS program” said Toby Harper-Merrett, Executive Director of CFSC-OPEC. “The program provides Canadians with access to the technology they need to develop essential skills and participate in our digital economy.”

Each year, Microsoft Canada hosts the IMPACT Awards to celebrate innovation in technology recognizing the work their partners do to deliver virtually seamless solutions to customers. The IMPACT Awards seek to showcase the excellence and innovation within the Microsoft Canadian Partner community.* https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/sites/impact-awards/default.aspx

CFSC-OPEC’s partnership with Microsoft plays a key role in serving populations at risk of digital exclusion” added Mr. Harper-Merrett. “providing learners and other beneficiary Canadians with the technology and tools for inclusive innovation.”

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Pinnguaq named Best Social Enterprise in Canada at the Startup Canada Awards in Ottawa

Ottawa, October 20, 2017 – A month after receiving the award for Best Social Enterprise Startup in the North, Pinnguaq Association is proud to have been selected as 2017’s Best Social Enterprise in Canada at the Startup Canada Grand Finale in Ottawa.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for the work being done to include Nunavummiut in Canada’s digital economy”, said Ryan Oliver, Director, Pinnguaq. “This prestigious award signifies the importance of digital inclusion for all Canadians.“

Pinnguaq is the organization behind the te(a)ch program, addressing the particular technology and skills challenges facing youth in Nunavut. Among 13 delivery partners for the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools (CFS) program in each province and territory, Pinnguaq also operates the CFS program in Nunavut that supplies the computers to the te(a)ch program.

“The CFS program’s intended environmental, social and economic impacts rely on the transfer of tools and knowledge through trusted partners such as Pinnguaq.” said CFSC’s Executive Director, Toby Harper-Merrett.

The te(a)ch program brings together a team of technical experts, curriculum developers, mental health workers and youth ambassadors from the north and south to work together on an online infrastructure that includes 100 lessons of curriculum to teach programming, game design, engineering and computer science from an introductory to an advanced level.

Through a partnership with CFSC-OPEC, Pinnguaq deploys these programs in key communities across the North, so that individuals can build and sustain their digital skills. CFSC-OPEC receives funding under the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada-led CFS program.

“Pinnguaq’s ability to reach communities across Nunavut, to deliver computers, transfer digital skills and work toward economic development is exceptional and fully deserving of this recognition”

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