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Nova Scotias Western Valley
a world leader in the integration
of information technologies into
community life - Industry Canada
Putting Nova Scotias Western Valley on the international map.
riving through Annapolis and Digby rich natural environment and cultural
Counties, mountains, shoreline, heritage, while seizing opportunities to build
forests and fields drift in and out of a knowledge-based economy. Larkman
view creating the breathtaking scenes that says this region has been laying the
attracted Canadas first European settlers foundations of a smart community for some
nearly 400 years ago. time. This project allows us to let the rest of
A stop in any of the picturesque the world in on the secret.
communities along the way will reveal the Larkman speaks passionately about
bustle of international business which the opportunities that will be created here
started with those early traders. This region now that the Western Valley has been
is referred to as the Western Valley, and on chosen as Nova Scotias demonstration
Canadas innovation metre, Industry Canada project. Its how we use the technology
calls it one of the smartest. that what will transform this community,
Early in 1999, Ottawa announced a she said.
$60-million program to fund a series of The effort will benefit everyone: the
international Smart Community 43,000 Western Valley residents will be
demonstration projects to the tune of $5 provided with e-mail accounts and access to
million each. Twelve communities (one in secure e-commerce web sites. In addition,
each province, one in the North and one 100 kiosks will be installed throughout the
Aboriginal community) were selected from region in easily accessible public areas. Each
129 applicants. will provide high-speed audio and video
The Western Valley Development data transmission. People will be able to
Authority jumped at the chance to submit a access on-line banking services, tele-health,
proposal for their region. The agency had, fax, job search programs, e-commerce and
just months before, completed an extensive government services to name a few.
community consultation and visioning The Smart Community designation
process. Executive Director Janet Larkman has put the Western Valley firmly on the
explains that the Smart proposal was built international map, added Joanne Acker,
on the communitys vision to preserve our Chair of the WVDA. Having access to
cutting edge technology will
fast-track economic growth
and put the Western Valley
on a level playing field with
major players around the
According to Tom (left to right) Joanne Acker, Chair of the Board; Janet Larkman,
Porter, Smart Community Executive Director; Leslee Fredericks, Community Development
Project Manager with the Officer; and Tom Porter, Smart Project Manager discuss the next
WVDA, the core of this steps toward their communitys vision.
project is a high-speed
telecommunications infrastructure that expand the high speed infrastructure are
converges cable, fibre optic, wireless and being made even before an official
satellite systems. Over the last month the agreement between the WVDA and
WVDA staff team has steered a series of Industry Canada is signed. It is only the first
community meetings to discuss the project. as various providers begin to light up fibre
Above all, the biggest question has been: optics, wire and wireless.
when will I have high speed internet With more than 40 partner groups
access? involved in the project, infrastructure is just
The Smart Community the beginning. One of Industry Canadas
announcement is speeding up the roll-out of requirements was that the community
digital subscriber line (DSL) technology and match the $5-million grant.
other higher speed solutions in this region, The WVDA did better than that,
Porter explains. MTT has cut their timeline locating $6.5 million in commitments.
for delivering Mpowered PC to the region Regional, provincial, national and
they recognize the opportunities that are international businesses have bought in.
going to be created here and they want to High speed internet access will be
be part of it. distributed throughout remote corners of the
In fact, moves by the private sector to region to service 100 communications kiosks.
And once a kiosk and high speed connection Tuesday, May 16, 2000
are in an area, it only makes sense for the
business delivering that connection to make
it available to customers.
The world of the internet will be
available to anyone in the community,
enthused WVDA Community Development
Officer Leslee Fredericks. Lots of people in
the community have already jumped on
board, from a lobster fisherman using Editorial Comment
wireless to sell his catch before he reaches
to dock, to the local entrepreneur using e-
commerce to make custom wedding Wired to the world
dresses for an international market, to a Word that the Western Valley Development
restoration carpenter using digital video to Authority has been chosen to represent the
negotiate design changes with a client living province as one of the 12 national Smart
in Europe, said Fredericks. All of these Community Demonstration projects is exciting
transactions can be done privately, securely news indeed. An important project such as
and very, very quickly she added. this, which will put state-of-the-art, world-
This endeavour has been highly linking technology at the fingertips of every
praised as bold, transformative and citizen, business and group within the desig-
international in scope. In its Smart nated region of Annapolis and Digby counties,
Communities summary report, the National will have a major impact on the area’s future.
Selection Committee commended the Smart Community project manager Tom
Western Valley community for its excellent Porter says that this initiative will fast-track
the region’s economic growth by as much as
vision addressing the multi-cultural aspect of
All this is a direct result of the vision and
At the Western Valley Development
hard work of the WVDA staff and board, who
Authority the phones have not stopped deserve full kudos for their commitment to
ringing since the announcement on May 11. reversing the discouraging trend to the deterio-
As Larkman says, its very exciting, and ration of rural communities. Projects such as
everyone wants a piece of the action. § this prove that loss of major industries does
not necessarily have to mean defeat and
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM deterioration. Being open to change, to seeing
THE AUTUMN 2000 EDITION OF: and doing things in new ways, can lead to new
kinds of progress.
Way to go, WVDA! We look forward to the
Open to the World exciting developments to come.
The Chronicle-Herald Friday May 12 2000
Valley hears smart talk
Regional officials tout
new high-tech designation
By Gordon Delaney
Valley Bureau The 12 communities were chosen from 129. The
Bridgetown number was reduced by a national selection
The western Annapolis Valley, suffering for committee to 46 communities, all of which had to
years from economic malaise, may be on the brink submit comprehensive business plans.
of a new era with Thursday's announcement that Each of the 12 communities will now enter into
the area will become one of 12 Smart Communities an agreement with Industry Canada, under which
in Canada, say development and municipal they will receive $5 million. Each community must
officials. match that funding.
"We are delighted, and know that this project The $60-million program was announced by the
will have a profound impact on the region's federal government last year, with the aim of
future," Janet Larkman, executive-director of the making Canada the most technologically connected
Western Valley Development Authority, said nation in the world.
Thursday from Ottawa. A community was chosen from each of the 10
She was in the capital city for the official provinces, along with one from Northern Canada
announcement, made by Industry Minister John and an aboriginal community. The $5 million
Manley. federal contribution is just a beginning, say
The Valley group was chosen from a shortlist municipal politicians. The program will eventually
of three Nova Scotia communities. The others provide national and international business
were from Cape Breton and Halifax. opportunities for Canadian companies that develop
The announcement puts Annapolis and Digby and deliver high-tech applications and services.
counties on the leading edge of innovation "It's fantastic news," Digby County Warden
worldwide, said Ms. Larkman. David Irvine said Thursday. "It opens up
"We are really looking forward to getting this unbelievable opportunities for our area."
Smart Community demonstration project The region suffered serious economic blows in
underway." the past decade, with the closure of the Cornwallis
The federal government's contribution, along military training base, the downturn in the fishery
with all our partners, will make the Western and decline of other traditional industries.
Valley one of the most connected regions by the Cornwallis Park has been successful in attracting
end of 2000. many new businesses in recent years.
"But we really needed some niche to hang
future development on, and I think this should
be it," said Mr. Irvine.
"It'll enhance and provide local employment,"
[Excerpt from the Report of the National
said Annapolis County Warden Peter Terauds.
"This is a real victory." Panel on Smart Communities] -- Smart
By using information and communications Communities are towns and cities that use
technology to link people and organizations, the information and communication
project will "put us on an equal footing with any technologies in new and innovative ways
major city in the world," Ms. Larkman said. to empower their residents, institutions,
"We'll be able to compete in the world market."
and region as a whole. Smart
The bid by the Western Valley Development
Authority involves an upgrade of high-speed Communities make the most of the
telecommunications networks that will support opportunities that new technologies can
a wide range of economic development afford - for example, in the areas of better
opportunities. health care delivery, better education and
At the project's core is a high-speed
training, and growing businesses - to help
telecommunications network, converging cable,
telephone, electrical and satellite systems. In an them more effectively compete in the
effort to link residents within the 5,600 square future economy. Canada needs these
kilometre region, the project will provide e-mail communities to drive the use of
addresses and Web sites to all households, technology for the benefit of all.
community groups and businesses. In addition,
100 communication kiosks will be installed in The Smart Communities Initiative is about
public buildings and businesses. embracing an idea that is potentially so
There will also be digital community radio, beneficial and transformative to our
video conferencing facilities and construction
society that it may be reasonably viewed
of a "Smart Building" for high-tech firms.
The project will "fast-track the region's as Canadas ultimate and most logical
economic growth by as much as 10 years," said millennium plan. It is also about a vision of
project manager Tom Porter. the post-millennium society, in which the
cable, telephone and satellite companies,
and hardware and software firms move
quickly and quietly into a new era known
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM as technological convergence, the point
THE MAY 12, 2000 ISSUE OF: at which all lines blur between traditional
The Chronicle-Herald media of print, radio, television, telephone,
computers and wireless systems.
The Western Valley Smart Community Demonstration Project is a community-driven
technology initiative led by the Western Valley Development Authority. Over three
years, Industry Canada will put $60-million toward 12 demonstration projects across
Canada, as a component of the Connecting Canadians Program. This will be
matched by contributions from local, national and international businesses, societies
During its life, the Western Valley Smart Community Project will be community-based,
sustainable, and replicable. It will be a model for aspiring international communities.
Some of the activities include:
- the installation of high speed internet technologies.
- 100 free standing kiosks to be set up in public locations. These will offer access
to on-line banking services, tele-health, e-mail, job search programs, e-commerce
and government services.
- e-mail addresses issued to the 43,000 residents of the Western Valley region,
based on phone number (sample address: email@example.com).
- the exploration of Smart Card use for assistive and adaptive technology.
- e-commerce availability to businesses within the region who wish to conduct on-
line transactions on a cost-per-transaction basis.
- five Video Conferencing Centres on a fee-for-service basis
- a GIS (geographic information system) database to deliver a digitized mapping
system of everything from sewer lines to heritage structures and historic districts.
- local public and private educators delivering content and assessment on-line. A
consortium will study the best method of internet learning in a rural community.
- a multi-million-dollar technology building housing a cluster of IT businesses and a
- local radio stations broadcasting via the internet.
- a virtual library will allow residents to borrow books and participate in book
clubs without entering a library building.
- original census records dating back to the very first French settlers in North
America will be digitized.
- management using a web-based benchmarking and project management tool.
86 Atlantic Avenue, PO Box 278
Cornwallis Park, NS B0S 1H0
Tel 902·638·8100 Fax 902·638·8101
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.wvda.com
Local calls transferred to Cornwallis: 665·4083 245·2412 769·2722