An initiative to boost the Canadian economy through the use of high-speed networking will learn from the examples set by the Province of New Brunswick and the City of Fredericton, according to the Chair of i-CANADA. I-CANADA is backed by Canada’s largest high-tech organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) and “ although i-CANADA has not even been officially launched yet, and we already have almost 1,000 signatures from Canadian companies, individuals and institutions pledging support for the idea,” said Bill Hutchison, chair of i-CANADA Two communities in New Brunswick — Fredericton and Moncton — have won awards as “Top Seven” finalists in the Intelligent Communities Forum’s prestigious award ceremony in New York.
“Our vision is that Canada’s networks are the rails of light carrying the engines of the Information Age,” said Bill Hutchison. “We want companies to grow and thrive in Canada because ultra-broadband provides an ecosystem of accelerated business and social innovation and growth. We consider New Brunswick to be a leader in this area as evidenced by the international Intelligent Community awards won by Moncton and Fredericton. An important i-Canada goal is to support the sharing between communities of innovative initiatives and lessons learned and certainly the rest of Canada can benefit from understanding the success formula being used in New Brunswick.”
Premier Alward has agreed to Chair the Leadership Council of i-CANADA, working with other Provincial Premiers, business leaders, and community stakeholders across the country in developing i-CANADA, the “Intelligent Nation.” “Premier Alward’s background as a human resource development and community development expert make him ideal to guide the work of i-CANADA,” said Mr. Hutchison.
Premier Alward noted that “this brings nation-wide recognition that New Brunswick is on the leading edge of developments that are defining economic growth today. I am delighted that our province will gain profile from Canadian businesses and research organizations and participate in sharing information on how to lead other global regions and communities in the creation of tomorrow’s Intelligent Communities.”
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside has also agreed to participate. “We are honoured that Mayor Woodside will add his considerable experience to the program,” said Mr. Hutchison.
Mayor Woodside stated “Fredericton’s long-standing reputation as an Intelligent Community dates back to the early nineties when we set our sights on growing our knowledge industries. “ Since that time, Fredericton has achieved international recognition, named twice as one of the World’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities by Intelligent Community Forum of New York, and one of the North American Cities of the Future by Financial Times of London. “We are successful because we work together – – we have been an integral partner with Enterprise Fredericton, the University of New Brunswick and Province of New Brunswick to advance our Knowledge Park. The park is currently adding two new buildings to its campus including the national Centre of Excellence in Advanced Learning Technology(CEALT), and has attracted companies like RIM and Radian6. The City of Fredericton has recognized the vital importance of intellectual infrastructure as a tool to cultivate the growth of our knowledge-based economy” said Mayor Woodside.
John Reid, CEO and President, CATAAlliance, recently spoke alongside Premier Alward at the Carlisle Institute’s inaugural CEO Breakfast Series held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event also signaled he official launch of CATAAtlantic, CATA’s brand new Atlantic Division. During Mr. Reid’s presentation, he praised the innovative thinkers in attendance and encouraged business leaders from the Atlantic egion to show the world their success stories. Fredericton has been lauded as an innovation hub in Alantic Canada and has been internationally heralded as a smart city with its innovative “fred e-zone,” art of its city-owned fibre optic network, e-Novations.
The goal of the i-CANADA program is to support at least 30 Canadian communities in competing internationally for the Intelligent Community of the Year Award and other global recognition. “In our vision new forms of intelligent ultra-broadband communications will accelerate Canada’s rate of business and social innovation and the rapid growth of young companies that can maintain control of their destinies,” stated Mr. Hutchison. “Creating an Intelligent Nation requires national leadership, interest and support as well as local community motivation and effort. The benefits being achieved by the world’s leading Intelligent Communities include economic growth, incoming investment, job creation and new dimensions in social prosperity.” Innovation and community collaboration are the engines of growth and the foundation that leads to long term sustainable models of prosperous living for all. The leading 21st century Intelligent Communities will be “green, smart and connected and all of them will have a foundation of advanced intelligent ultra broadband communications to support their governments, businesses, and consumers. “
“Fredericton has a lot to teach the rest of Canada,” said Mr. Hutchison. “As one of the World’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities, Fredericton contains 70 per cent of the province’s knowledge industry with Canada’s largest per capita engineering cluster. Its leadership in establishing Canada’s first free, wireless city is an example that can be followed by others. Fredericton also has a skilled, young workforce to keep its momentum going. Fredericton is also earning international attention for its sustainability initiatives geared towards reducing the City’s ecological footprint — a key component of the Intelligent Communities concept.”