Canadian Cities Dominate International Top Seven Intelligent Cities Competition: i-CANADA Congratulates Saint John, Quebec City and Stratford
January 19, 2012

TORONTO, January 18, 2012  --  Three Canadian cities have made the “Top Seven” Intelligent Communities of the Year” list announced earlier today by the Intelligent Communities Forum in New York.  Canada dominates the list, being the only country with more than one entry.  “Clearly, we ar doing some things right in Canada,” said i-CANADA Co-Founder Barry Gander.  I-CANADA is a national movement to create a nation of Intelligent Communities large and small, central and remote, all enjoying the economic development, job growth and social prosperity now available in the world’s leading Intelligent Communities.

“We are delighted and happy for the citizens of Stratford, Saint John, and Quebec City,” said Mr. Gander.  “The world’s leading i-Nations consistently have high rankings in innovation, productivity, job creation, and social prosperity.  This could be of huge benefit to their development.”

Awarded by the Intelligent Communities Forum based in New York, the Top Seven are communities that provide a model of economic and social development in the 21st Century using information and communications technology to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture. 

The full list of the Top Seven includes:

Austin, Texas
Oulu, Finland
Riverside, California
Saint John, New Brunswick
Quebec City, Quebec
Stratford, Ontario
New Tapei Taiwan

The ICF will announce its selection of the Most Intelligent Community of 2012 at its annual event in New York in June.

The ICF provided these descriptions of the Canadian winners:

  • Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Quebec City has long enjoyed the benefits that accrue to a provincial capital that is also the economic and cultural hub of the province. In the midst of recession, its unemployment rate is less than 5%. Home to major universities, it ranks #1 in Canada and #2 in North America for university students per capita, and has the nation's largest per capita concentration of researchers. Regional GDP has grown 30% in the past 10 years, driven largely by R&D and high-tech businesses. Yet in the 1980s, Quebec City accounted for only 3% of high-tech jobs in the entire province. A decision by local government to interconnect the city's universities and business community transformed a political capital into a technology capital. Quebec Metro High Tech Park is now home to nearly 100 companies employing 5,000 people and the Park's management team continues to advise and steer promising applications from universities into commercial development.
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Most of the world celebrated the start of the new century in 2000, but it was a time for mourning in Saint John.  A shipbuilding contract from the Canadian government came to an end and a major food manufacturer closed its plant in the same year. A long period of industrial decline had suddenly reached crisis point. But while it had Canada's largest per capita decline in manufacturing from 1989 to 2003, Saint John also saw 8% growth in services, double the Canadian average. To accelerate that positive trend, the city created a partnership with education, health care, provincial government, cultural institutions and business. It targeted ICT, life sciences, tourism, energy and advanced manufacturing for growth. In a strategy called True Growth, the city engaged with local employers and educators to identify and recruit skilled young people emerging from secondary school and university. It also recruited skilled immigrants and launched a mentorship program to connect immigrant entrepreneurs with business executives.
     
  • Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Since its founding as a mill town in the 1800s, Stratford has been a crossroads where agriculture, industry and culture meet. It has been the home to Canada’s largest furniture industry but also a railroad town and contributor to southern Ontario’s growth as a workshop of the automotive industry. Since 1952, it has also been home to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the largest employer in town and generates C$135m in local economic activity. Stratford, however, has had to take major steps to create a 21st Century economy. A city-owned company has laid 60 km of optical fiber and used it as the backbone of a public WiFi network. The University of Waterloo has opened a Stratford campus offering a Masters of Business Entrepreneurship and Technology program. This has given rise to the Stratford Institute, a think tank focusing on digital media. Broadband and IT have also addressed the challenges of rural healthcare. Eighty percent of Stratford’s family physicians are on a broadband e-health portal for health records, administration and after-hours care, which has helped ease the region’s shortage of family practitioners.

The goal for all of the participants in the i-CANADA program is to achieve a Canada where:

 • Global companies locate here thanks to the unparalleled quality of place and advanced low cost open access ultra broadband communications supporting an array of talent working in an environment conducive to collaboration and innovation.

• Canada no longer ranks near the bottom of the pack for its broadband performance as it does in 2010: 22nd out of 30 countries in the Harvard Berkman Centre’s recent study for the US Federal Communications Commission and 32nd in the Net International Index of broadband download speeds, ranking behind Moldova, Hungary and Bulgaria.  Canada will have reclaimed her crown as one of the world’s leaders in telecommunications.

• New forms of telepresence collaboration accelerate our rate of innovation and the growth of young companies.

• Canadians living in the north, or in aboriginal communities, and throughout Canada will have access to our best interactive and diagnostic health services, learning and training services, and business development services …….. all available without leaving home.

• Open access ultra broadband will allow our new health caregiver support systems to dramatically expand their support for patients with cancer, diabetes and other debilitating ailments. Ageing well in the home through enhanced caregiver support becomes a reality and our healthcare costs per capita decline significantly.

• Intelligent Transportation becomes a reality with reduced environmental impacts, improved service, shorter travel times and fewer accidents.

Realizing this vision requires an ultra high speed, pervasive, intelligent and trusted open access communications infrastructure that provides citizens, business and institutions with low cost speeds of gigabits per second to every home, school and business

For further information on i-CANADA contact Emily Boucher:  eboucher@cata.ca

For further information on the ICF announcement visit: 

https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Top7_2012&link=Top7_2012

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