Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Experts Meet to Plan Regional Area Network: “A new kind of country”
November 22, 2012

Fredericton, November 22, 2012  --  A meeting between networking leaders from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Sackville on November 28th will help decide on methods to interlink high-speed networks, within and between the provinces. 

“We are envisioning a new national dream,” said Gary Stairs, President of Fredericton-based Stellar Learning Strategies and Vice President, i-CANADA.  “Our region is leading the development of a new Canada  -  one suited to the 21st Century.  We are going to sketch out a plan to create an equitable high-bandwidth regional community, bringing ultra-high-speed service to homes and businesses throughout the twin provinces.”

The meeting is a follow-through to an Executive TeleForum that was held in October.  i-CANADA is a movement dedicated to the creation of an Intelligent Nation, where social and business organizations can thrive in a connected ecosystem.

“We are building on success,” noted Mr. Stairs.  “The digital economy strategies followed by the province of New Brunswick, for example, have brought us new business and higher levels of economic growth and social activity.  We are thrilled that the Governors Council of i-CANADA is Chaired by Premier David Alward  -  he is setting an example for everyone.  Mayor Brad Woodside of Fredericton is also a nationally-recognized champion; he has taken the digital economy message across Canada!  Our goal is to keep their momentum going, and make sure that we are all connected and engaged.”

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is general acknowledged to be the dynamic ecosystem sparking innovation and spurring change.  Befitting a workshop dedicated to breaking traditional molds, it is being held at the studio of photographer Thaddeus Holownia, Professor and Head of the department of Fine Arts, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick.  Holownia is setting aside his studio and his time, because he recognizes the importance of our work from a creative and innovative point of view,” stated Mr. Stairs.

The drive to create a regional area super-network has been partly spurred by Canada’s relative decline in communications capability.

“The reason for this initiative is the undeniable connection between broadband performance and a region’s prosperity” said Mr. Stairs.  “Twenty years ago Canada was the world’s leader in telecommunications and every year for the past few years we have declined.  A recent survey showed that we have dropped nine points in the past year alone, now ranking 14th behind countries such as Korea and Romania.”

By contrast, added Mr. Stairs, countries like Malaysia are relying on information and communication technology (ICT) to power a transformation to become a developed country.  It plans to increase the amount of GDP generated from ICT to 17 per cent from the current 9.8 per cent, double digital exports, generate additional jobs from digital industries for 350,000 citizens, and break the top 10 listing in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. Nigeria, too, is working to become a top 20 economy by 2020, using ICT will as a primary driver of that aspiration. In the short term, it is distributing 10 million phones to farmers to improve access to fertilizer subsidies, and giving phones to pregnant women to help them get medical care.

“In many ways, our region is setting an example for the rest of Canada.  We want to accelerate that process,” stated Mr. Stairs.

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For inquiries about the Workshop, please email: Shannon Payne at