Smart Future: WVDA News Clippings

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  • 1. SMART COMMUNITY Nova Scotia’s Western Valley “a world leader in the integration of information technologies into community life” - Industry Canada
  • 2. Smart Future Putting Nova Scotia’s Western Valley on the international map. D 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 Canada’s 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 Scotia’s demonstration Canada’s innovation metre, Industry Canada project. “It’s 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 community’s vision to preserve our Chair of the WVDA. “Having access to
  • 3. cutting edge technology will fast-track economic growth and put the Western Valley on a level playing field with major players around the world.” 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 community’s 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 Canada’s 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.
  • 4. 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 Bridgetown Monitor 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 ten years. the region.” 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, “it’s 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. "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 Canada’s 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.
  • 7. Western Valley Smart Community AN OVERVIEW 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 and agencies. 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: 9026654083@westernvalley.ns.ca). - 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 business incubator. - 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.
  • 8. 86 Atlantic Avenue, PO Box 278 Cornwallis Park, NS B0S 1H0 Tel 902·638·8100 Fax 902·638·8101 Email: wvda@wvda.com URL: www.wvda.com Local calls transferred to Cornwallis: 665·4083 245·2412 769·2722