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The Virtual Community Association (VCA) is no longer in operation. It was intended to provide a forum for individuals resident in the City of Ottawa to share ideas and concerns which affect the entire city or a large portion of it. It's goal was to raise community issues for discussion, debate, analysis, and resolution through democratic means. To a certain extent, these functions are now being fulfilled through the Federation of Citizens Associations (FCA) which is active within the City of Ottawa.
The VCA existed only within its National Capital FreeNet (NCF) discussion groups - it had no meetings, executive, membership dues, affiliations (political or otherwise), or other existence outside of its virtual space. It was an experiment to determine if it could conduct its activities solely in electronic form.
The VCA operated within three discussion groups and one voting area:
During its existence from 1996 through 1999 (approximately), the members prepared several versions of a charter and general operating guidelines. These are retained on this site for historical reference under Charter and Roles and responsibilities.
As a result of discussions, it posted documents regarding specific issues or themes which arose. One of these was Municipal / school board election issues.
The VCA also provided information about and links to other community organizations. This aspect of the experiment proved to be a popular feature and continues to be maintained by one of the original VCA members as a service to the citizens of Ottawa. The information is maintained on two lists: