Cuts to federal Community Access Program funding won’t affect public Internet access or service levels at Port Alberni’s library, Vancouver Island Regional Library manager Michael deLeur said.
The federal government announced the program was being cut at the end of March.
The Community Access Program was developed by Industry Canada in 1995 to help communities in rural and remote settings obtain free public access to the Internet.
The funding was cut but it’s business as usual at the local library.
“It won’t affect Internet access or service levels here,” deLeur said.
According to the B.C. Library Association, the cuts will impact more than 135 community libraries. B.C. lost $515,000 in CAP funding, or an average of $3,800 per library.
Officials from VIRL foresaw the cuts coming two years ago and planned for it.
“We’re absorbing it into our budget and we won’t be charging for the service either,” spokesperson Joy Adamsbauer said.
CAP also funded youth internship positions, but VIRL never took advantage of the initiative, Adamsbauer said.
The cuts hit 49 outlets on Vancouver Island including Port Alberni.
According to the Industry Canada website, CAP was discontinued because the program met its goal.