Halifax Mayor Stresses Need for Full Community Input in Creation of “Intelligent Community” -- Mayor Mike Savage joins i-CANADA Governors Council
May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013   --   Mayor Michael Savage today joined the Governors Council of a movement designed to make every community in Canada an “Intelligent Community”, in which communities with digital inclusion, sustainable economies, and high employment are founded on the applications of high-speed communications.

“Mayor Savage is one of Canada’s leading visionaries on the need to bring every community group into the planning of the digitally-decided future,” said i-CANADA Chair Bill Hutchison.  “We are very grateful that a person of his varied experience is adding his strength to the drive to create an Intelligent Nation.”

Mayor Savage joins the i-CANADA Governors Council that is Chaired by New Brunswick Premier David Alward, and that contains some 50 other Mayors, Premiers and CEOs from large companies and universities.  Premier Dexter is among the Premiers on the Governors Council.

“i-CANADA’s goals are close to my own heart,” stated Mayor Savage, “social development, skills upgrading, high-tech health care, hydro power and communications infrastructures.  I welcome the opportunity to have Halifax join in this national development effort.

“We will be sharing practices with Intelligent Communities like Waterloo, Calgary, Toronto and Stratford,” noted Mayor Savage.  “Many of these communities once had growth rates below the provincial averages; they had to change how we were doing things.  They embraced disruption when it comes to technology, and focused for example on how digital applications add to traditional manufacturing and agricultural bases.

According to the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), throughout the world links can be demonstrated between becoming an Intelligent Community, and achieving high levels of skilled employment, a sustainable economy, social improvements, and a diminishing of social illness such as violence. 

i-CANADA has invited Mayor Savage to speak at an ICF-i-CANADA SUMMIT in Toronto on June 3-4, 2013, called “The Seven Habits of Highly Intelligent Communities.”  Lessons and best practices will be shared.


“Intelligent Region” Meeting

“I am also in favour of building up our Atlantic core strengths,” announced Mayor Savage.  “We will build on the regional base already started by i-CANADA, which has had a group of volunteers from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia begin planning for an Atlantic “Super-Region”.

“Fredericton’s Mayor Brad Woodside hosted the previous meeting of the group; I would like to invite him to share our hospitality in Halifax for the next meeting.  We are interested in sharing best practices and in hearing about how we can pool our strengths.

“We are reaching here for international standing, so we need to tap into our region and our nation.  This is not a program we can do on our own  --  and we are pleased that other Canadian communities are happy to share the experiences of Halifax.”

At the meeting the Mayor was presented with a print of a photo taken by New Brunswick artist Thaddeus Holownia.  The photo was taken recently of a group of the communications leaders from the two provinces, who had gathered to begin the conversation about creating the Super-Region.  According to Gary Stairs, Principal, Stellar Learning Strategies and i-CANADA VP Atlantic Region, the picture’s format deliberately mimics the historic photo of the laying of the ‘last spike’ on Canada’s railway, because “the creation of an ultra-bandwidth network is the New National Dream.”

About Mayor Savage

Skilled team builder, experienced business person and public servant, community volunteer and strong advocate for Halifax Regional Municipality, Mike Savage was elected Mayor of HRM on October 20, 2012.  As Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour from 2004 until 2011, Mayor Savage was active in serving his constituents and playing a national role as Official Opposition Critic for Human Resources and Skills and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and as Chair of the Liberal Caucus Committee on Post-Secondary Education and Research.  He served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. As Vice-Chair of that committee, Mayor Savage worked diligently with members of all parties, with community organizations, and with individuals to advocate for programs to support Canadians to overcome poverty or disabilities and achieve their potential.