Sustainable Business: York Partnership Addresses Funding, Critical Mass Challenges: Important Call for Regional Broadband Strategy
May 11, 2012

May 10, 2012  -  Developing capital to launch and sustain a business, and to use current resources as a spring-board for development, are the subjects being addressed by leaders and experts at a coming event in York region.  Elected officials, business leaders and others with a vested interested in the broadband agenda, will advance the cause of cost of access in one of the most powerful regions in Canada, according to Newmarket Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Steve Hinder.

“Broadband is a central economic need and Ontario Centre area municipalities are at a competitive disadvantage,” said Barry Gander, Co-Founder of i-CANADA, a national movement to transform Canada into a country where digital inclusion and digital applications lead to sustainable economic and social activity.

 Implementing ultra-fast broadband access is a project municipalities are best able to achieve by banding together, he added.

The community leaders and key industry stakeholders are gathering  on May 23 & 24 at Kingbridge Conference Centre to discuss plans and strategies to support innovation, business growth and new ways of raising capital to launch and sustain businesses.

Hosted by a broad partnership including York Region, the i-Canada Alliance, local Chambers of commerce, ventureLab and municipalities, the event will feature local and international speakers, on topics such as Creating the Millionaire Ecosystem, Crowdfunding to support Start Ups, Virtual Centres of Excellence and Next-Generation Business Applications.   The common element among the topics is high speed broadband infrastructure as the enabling backbone for innovation and commercialization.

This is a priority for York, which through community consultations has identified ultra-fast broadband as essential infrastructure for operating in a global broadband community.   “Broadband is an economic imperative, not a technology issue,” said Mr. Hinder.  “It directly impacts businesses large and small in our area,  and in particular, the shift to cloud-based computing –where businesses access core software applications over the Internet rather than on local services, has created a wealth of new opportunities”.

The i-Canada Alliance, a program of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, has been instrumental in working with communities large and small across Canada, helping them to understand the opportunities and the ways to advance the concept of Intelligent Communities.  

Creating an Intelligent Community presents a grand challenge, organizers say, but it also provides a powerful and competitive tool that can help boost economic and social well being.  Top 7 Intelligent Communities such as Windsor, Waterloo and Stratford have recognized significant economic benefits and attracted investment in their regions as a direct result of their broadband strategies.

Together with i-Canada Alliance, the northern six municipalities are currently completing an assessment exercise to measure their progress on evolving to a knowledge-based economy, the results of which will be presented at the May conference.

Reinforcing the link between broadband and economic prosperity, the event will feature a StartUp Canada Town Hall, part of a cross-Canada movement to support and inspire entrepreneurs, while gathering ideas on how we can enhance competitiveness and prosperity in our country.

 For further information on the conference, please visit: