The Ambassadeur project aims to meet the information needs of citizens and employers so that they can fulfill them on their own through CACs and local organizations. By hiring information officers in the community, who would be responsible for distributing information about government products and services, the project will make it possible to identify needs and make people aware of the new information technologies, "a decisive stage for informed decisionmaking by the community", according to one participant.
With a goal of development and individual autonomy, the project aims "to foster the community taking charge of the development of its potential" (Saguenay-Lac St-Jean HRDC, 1999b) by establishing follow-up and feedback mechanisms for communities and individuals. According to some HRDC officials, the project would make it possible "to adopt communication strategies, follow-up and feedback mechanisms for the community" and consequently "improve our ability to target our efforts in the community more carefully and develop products adapted to what people need."
The main partners were HRDC and the Fjord, Haut-Saguenay, Lac Saint-Jean Est, Lac Saint-Jean Ouest, Maria-Chapdelaine and Chibaugamau CFDCs8. Although the latter lies outside the Saguenay-Lac St-Jean administrative region, its proximity and interest in the project led it to join.
The project officially got underway with the process of hiring the information officers (the "Ambassadors") in December 1999. The citizen phase was planned to have a three-year span, but with no guarantee at the outset because there was none that the funding would continue. In fact, every year the Minister decides on whether or not this fund is available and the rules for its allocation. Lastly, the grants received from the Pan-Canadian Activities Fund will total some $300,000 and cover operations until March 31, 2001.