NL Short Takes
News | 05/23/2000 4:00 am EDT
Smart Community winners announced
More than a year after the federal government first announced the project, Industry Canada has selected the winning applicants to participate in the Smart Communities Demonstration Project. The final winners tend to be smaller and/or remote centres, with just a hint of partisan intrigue to make it interesting.
It came as no surprise that Ontario's spot went to Ottawa. The capital has been cultivating an image as the Silicon Valley of Canada for several years. The only other large city awarded a designation was Calgary. Other projects, such as those in Manitoba (Brandon, Neepawa, Souris, Carberry and Minnedosa) and Labrador, were awarded to smaller communities.
The government is establishing one Smart Community in each province, one for northern Canada and one for an aboriginal centre. The latter was granted to Sioux Lookout ON.
The government profile is obvious in the home of the Quebec winner. Among the finalists on the short list were Rimouski-Neigette and Saint-Bruno-De-Montarville. Rimouski's MP is Bloc Québécois firebrand Suzanne Tremblay, while original BQ member Pierrette Venne represents Saint Bruno. The city chosen by the government was Shawinigan, whose member of Parliament happens to be the prime minister.
Industry Canada will be doling out $60 million to the 12 projects that made the final cut. Full descriptions of the proposals for each project can be found at the department's web site (http://smartcommunities.ic.gc.ca/).