Halifax takes steps to boost its global “Intelligent Community” ranking: Region taps into i-CANADA resources
November 14, 2013

++ Call to Action:  If you are a Canadian community, large or small, with an interest in advancing your innovation status and global ranking, then please contact Barry Gander, EVP, CATAAlliance at bgander@cata.ca to discuss how you, too, can access our resources and growth networks.

November 14, 2013… Halifax  --  i-CANADA today announced the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is joining the not-for-profit’s movement to  spur the creation of an “intelligent region” in Halifax by creating more inclusive and widespread exposure to global digital intelligence that can rapidly accelerate positive socioeconomic outcomes and create transformational societal change.

 “i-CANADA is a national alliance of more than 70 Canadian communities, large and small and coast to coast, all working to become some of the world’s leading smart/intelligent communities,” said Bill Hutchison, Chair, i-CANADA and the former founder of CANARIE, the world’s fastest research network.  “Many of our communities and their mayors are already global leaders in urban transformation and we are delighted that HRM will be joining our planning process.”

“While such transformation is rooted in widespread access to ultra high-speed broadband connectivity, it must be stressed that this process is not about the communications network; it is about how people use the network for the advancement of their lives, businesses, education and health,” said Mr. Hutchison.  “We can’t overlook the fact that we need a certain calibre of network  -  you can’t build a modern city using gravel roads  -  but Halifax has the capacity to do that.  We need to involve people in applications that make their visions come alive”

The i-CANADA Governors Council is Chaired by The Honourable David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick.  HRM Mayor Michael Savage is one of the 60 leaders on the Governors Council:   “Halifax has many strong assets,” said Mayor Savage, “including smart people, flexible and advanced business, and first-class universities.  This gives us competitive advantages and a compelling quality of life.  What we need to do is bring these assets together  --  especially our leadership  --  in order to attain global recognition.”

“Intelligent regions have measurably higher success with economic growth, incoming investment, employment and innovation across all social priorities compared to their neighbours,” said Greg Keefe, Director of Finance and IT at HRM.  “We will be joining with i-CANADA to embark on a structured ‘escalator’ for citizen engagement and transformation.”

According to Mr. Hutchison, the concept behind I-CANADA is that if enough Canadian communities win the international awards then Canada’s national measures will also rise more quickly:  “a rising tide raises all boats,”   he said., “HRM may want to consider entering the global competition for Most Intelligent Community of the Year, in which some 300 cities compete for the award given out by the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum.”

“Some Canadian cities, like Waterloo, Stratford, Calgary, Fredericton and Toronto with Waterfront Toronto have already won international awards,” added Mr. Hutchison.  “There is no reason to doubt that Halifax is capable of climbing that mountain.

In the i-CANADA process, getting underway in November, a series of steps will move the communities of HRM along the evolution, including creation of a governance model, engagement program, survey of network users, vision-and-prioritization, technology assessment, rural assessment, financial plan, and start of construction.

“We are looking forward to mobilizing along this tested path to become a key foundation in a new nation of Intelligent Communities  -   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,” stated Mr. Keefe.

++ Call to Action: If you are a Canadian community, large or small, with an interest in advancing your innovation status and global ranking, then please contact Barry Gander, EVP, CATAAlliance at bgander@cata.ca to discuss how you, too, can access our resources and growth networks.