Manitoba implements province-wide telepresence network

Thursday, January 27 2011

The Canadian province of Manitoba is working to reduce its carbon footprint by implementing a widespread telepresence network that will let universities throughout the region communicate with one another via video conferencing systems.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and the Honorable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, joined together to launch a video conferencing system linking the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University and University College of the North in The Pas. The development was made possible by a $7 million commitment from the Manitoba and Canadian governments to create the infrastructure, which will help the province cut down on travel costs and the harmful greenhouse gas emissions of cars and airplanes.

"An investment in education is an investment in Manitoba's future," said Selinger. "I'm honored that our government has been able to assist in providing technology that will link students from across the province and around the world, allowing research, information and ideas to be shared. This is just one of the many ways that our government works to support and promote green innovation and education in our province."

Yelich added that the project's goal is to "support knowledge-based research and development" that can help provide the people of the province with new products, services and technologies.

As of the 2006 census, Manitoba was home to 1.15 million people, making it one of the most sparsely-populated areas in North America, with a population density of a mere 5.5 people per square mile.