Digital Strategy A Good Start, Says i-CANADA Chair
April 8, 2014

Many i-CANADA advocacy goals were supported by an announcement this afternoon from federal Industry Minister Moore, who outlined Canada’s Digital Strategy.  The strategy calls for the Business Development Bank of Canada to invest $500 million on behalf of the government, with $300 million in for digital tech companies and $200 million for businesses adopting the technology.

Building on the announcement, i-CANADA Chair & CATA Leadership Council member, Bill Hutchison noted that the next step would be to put in place initiatives that cities and towns of Canada could use as market drivers for industry and support for their urban transformation:  “The U.K. has a Smart Cities program and related fund,  to support cities and towns in urban transformation and to provide a substantial market for domestic companies selling to their Smart Cities  They are predicting the global Smart/Intelligent Community market will soon reach $1 trillion per year and they want British companies to capture 10% of that global market.   i-CANADA has a working group partnering with the U.K., and it will be a real benefit to Canadian communities and companies to have that same kind of coordination and support .  Helping to create the new “smart” markets is a “market pull” strategy for our digital companies.  An effective Digital Strategy for Canada  has to ensure that we are among the world’s leaders  in the application of digital strategies at the city and community level.”

Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, who accompanied the Minister at the announcement, added that “Intelligent Communities are where the translation happens between technology and transformation; between utility and use.  When Waterloo won the global Intelligent Community of the Year Award, we did so because all of our citizens were actively engaged in projects that gave them new powers and capabilities.  The Minister’s Digital Strategy is an important step  -  now we have to make it an Intelligent Community Strategy.”

The Canadian government will provide about $305 million to extend and enhance high-speed Internet services for about 280,000 households in rural and remote areas of the country by 2017.

The Minister advised that "Canadian households, mostly rural and northern households, will have high-speed Internet access for the very first time.”

The Minister also vowed that there would be more competition in Canada's wireless industry  --  a goal supported by i-CANADA.

To review the Digital Strategy go to:

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/028.nsf/eng/h_00569.html