Connecting Canadians

Investigations in Community Informatics

Table of contents

List of Illustrations


1 Connecting Canadians? Community Informatics Perspectives on
Community Networking Initiatives / Graham Longford, Andrew Clement,
Michael Gurstein, Leslie Regan Shade

Part I Context

2 Toward a Conceptual Framework for a Community Informatics  /
Michael Gurstein

3 Keeping in Touch: A Snapshot of Canadian Community Networks and
Their Users — Report on the CRACIN Survey of Community Network
Users / Marita Moll, Melissa Fritz

4 Canadian and US Broadband Policies: A Comparative Analysis /
Heather E. Hudson

Part II Conceptual Frameworks

5 Information Technology as Political Catalyst: From Technological
Innovation to the Promotion of Social Change / Serge

6 “The Researcher Is a Girl”: Tales of Bringing Feminist
Labour Perspectives into Community Informatics Practice and Evaluation
/ Katrina Peddle, Alison Powell, Leslie Regan Shade

7 What Are Community Networks an Example Of? A Response I /
Christian Sandvig

Part III Community Innovation I: Participation and

8 Systems Development in a Community-Based Organization: Lessons
from the St. Christopher House Community Learning Network / Susan
MacDonald, Andrew Clement

9 Vancouver Community Network as a Site of Digital and Social
Inclusion / Diane Dechief

Part IV Community Innovation II: Wireless

10 Community and Municipal Wi-Fi Initiatives in Canada: Evolutions
in Community Participation I / Alison Powell, Leslie Regan

11 Wi-Fi Publics: Defining Community and Technology at
Montréal’s Île Sans Fil / Alison Powell

12 Wireless Broadband from Individual Backhaul to Community Service:
Co-operative Provision and Related Models of Local Signal Access /
Matthew Wong

Part V Rural and Remote Broadband

13 “We Were on the Outside Looking In”: MyKnet. org
— A First Nations Online Social Environment in Northern Ontario /
Brandi L. Bell, Philipp Budka, Adam Fiser

14 A Historical Account of the Kuh-ke-nah Network: Broadband
Deployment in a Remote Canadian Aboriginal Telecommunications Context /
Adam Fiser, Andrew Clement

15 Atlantic Canadian Community Informatics: The Case of the WVDA and
SmartLabrador / Katrina Peddle

16 Reverse English: Strategies of the Keewatin Career Development
Corporation in Discourse Surrounding the Knowledge-Based Economy and
Society / Frank Winter

Part VI Libraries and Community Networks

17 Community Networks and Local Libraries: Strengthening Ties with
Communities / Nadia Caidi, Susan MacDonald, Elise Chien

18 The Library Ideal and the Community Network: Prospects for New
Technologies in the Public Library I / Marco Adria

Part VII Public Policy

19 Community Networking Experiences with Government Funding Programs
Service Delivery Model or Sustainable Social Innovation? / Susan
MacDonald, Graham Longford, Andrew Clement

20 Communautique: Action and Advocacy for Universal Digital Access /
Nicolas Lecomte, Serge Proulx

21 There and Back to the Future Again: Community Networks and
Telecom Policy Reform in Canada, 1995–2010 / Graham Longford,
Marita Moll, Leslie Regan Shade

Appendix A: Community Partners and Case Study Sites
/ Graham Longford

Appendix B: A Brief History of the Community Access
Program: From Community Economic Development to Social Cohesion to
Digital Divide / Marita Moll

Appendix C: The Federal Connecting Canadians
Initiative, 1995–2007: A Brief Overview / Graham Longford,
Marita Moll


Publication Credits

List of Contributors


Connecting Canadians examines the role of community informatics, or community-based ICT initiatives, in this process of transition. The Community Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN) set out to study how civil society groups—in locations ranging from Vancouver to Labrador and from remote Northern communities to Toronto and Montréal—sought to enable local communities to develop on their own terms within the broader context of federal and provincial policies and programs. Drawing on diverse theoretical perspectives, from sociology to library and information sciences to women’s studies, the essays not only document specific local initiatives but analyze the overall trajectory of the government’s vision of a digitally inclusive Canada.