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New Media Conference Presentation
Mark Schneider


Topic: we.ca: The Canadian Internet Co-op

Once again, Canadians are looking south in envy and amazement, this time as US Internet companies explode both in market value and mindshare. As the shockwave reverberates northward, Canadian investors, New Media workers, and online shoppers continue their southward trek to join the Big Bang.

In the past, we we might have expected Ottawa to lead a campaign of protectionism but in this era of globalization and deregulation clearly this is not going to happen. Ottawa does in fact have a 'Surf Canadian' campaign - its Connecting Canadians Initiative, which includes the Access.ca project. But something more is required: a grass-roots, Open Source, community-held and managed online enterprise. We call it we.ca (nous.ca en francais).

An honorable Canadian institution that developed precisely in order to express our Canadian particularities is the co-operative: member-owned and managed, widely-held, and community-based.

we.ca is a proposal to create a Canadian Home Page - modelled on the Open Directory Project (http://dmoz.org) - but extended to provide group purchasing, reselling of existing Canadian co-operatives' goods and services, and a clearinghouse for resources in support of Canadian community development.

CTV Digital Desk
300-750 Burrard St.
Vancouver V6Z 1X5
telephone 604.609.4900

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