Park Board and City Council have adopted COPE’s proposal to expand free
wireless internet access in Vancouver. The Park Board directed staff to
consult with community centre associations to make increased WI-FI
access a reality. Meanwhile, City staff will report back this spring on
the feasibility of Wi-Fi in all civic buildings.
According to COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock, “Providing
free internet access in community centres will greatly benefit
low-income residents who may not be able to afford internet at home,
but could find it immensely useful.”
Woodcock hopes free internet will attract more young people to
community centres, where they will find other services they may not
“Many North American metropolitan areas now have extensive public
wireless high-speed internet coverage and we’re falling behind,” said
COPE Councillor David Cadman. “Currently, we don’t even have wireless
access at City Hall.”
“Democracy thrives on increased information and conversations,” said
Richard Smith, SFU communications professor who supports the expansion.
Woodcock and Cadman hope that increased Wi Fi access may also lead
to increased participation in City and Park Board decision-making, a
key tenet of COPE’s policy.