ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT–Cape Breton Communities to Test DriveGovernment@YourService Two Cape Breton communities are among six across Nova Scotia thatare participating in a new Internet service pilot project. Government@YourService is an online offering that gives people anew and easier way to use the Internet to access governmentservices. Community Access Project sites at the Main-a-DieuCommunity Centre and Glace Bay Public Library are offering thenew service and have trained staff members and volunteers toteach citizens how to use the online resources. Other Nova Scotiacommunities involved in the project are Sheet Harbour, Halifax,Shelburne and Barrington Passage. <p>"Government@YourService organizes things by topic relevant to thecitizens of Nova Scotia,” said Ernest Fage, Minister of EconomicDevelopment, the provincial agency responsible for CAP sites inNova Scotia.
Currently, government organizes access to services by department.Through the technical leadership of Service Nova Scotia andMunicipal Relations, searches can now be customized to theindividual’s specific needs. “This should make it easier to findwhat you’re looking for, whether that’s a marriage license,information on education or retirement, or help in replacingidentification when you’ve lost your wallet,” said Mr. Fage. The project is being implemented with the assistance of NovaScotia’s network of CAP sites. The sites are community-basedtechnology centres that can be found in more than 300 locationsacross the province, including libraries and other centres wherecommunities gather. “Libraries are a natural partner in this project,” said DonaldWard, reference librarian with the Cape Breton Regional Library.”When people need information, the first place they look is oftentheir local library. Whether the service that’s needed is onpaper or online, libraries can help. That is what makes projectslike this one such a valuable part of our CAP partnership.” Originally set up under Industry Canada and the province, CAPsites continue to receive limited support but recognize they haveto stay relevant to citizens to remain in business.Government@YourService enables CAP sites to stay current byproviding access to resources from all three levels ofgovernment. “This is a great opportunity for CAP sites to evolve and sustainthemselves over the long term,” said Mr. Fage. “We hope projectslike this one will help the CAP network provide a valuable newservice to citizens while expanding the CAP site’s role as acommunity resource centre.” Assessments of the pilot may help expand the project to CAP sitesand libraries in other communities in 2005. The project is being piloted at the following six CAP sites: Main-A-Dieu Community Centre: 2886 Main-A-Dieu Road, Main-a- Dieu; Glace Bay Public Library: 121 Union St., Glace Bay; Youth Services Centre: 3533 Highway 3, Barrington Passage; McKay Memorial Library: 254 Water St., Shelburne; Bluewater CAP Site: 22756 Highway 7, Sheet Harbour; Captain William Spry Public Library: 10 Kidston Rd., Spryfield.