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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2018JTT0045-002145
Nov. 8, 2018
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Four regions successful in B.C. Smart Communities pilot
A backgrounder was added Nov. 8, 2018

VICTORIA – People living in four regions of British Columbia will benefit from projects that will make their communities safer and more connected.

"Smart technology can place useful information at people’s fingertips to make our neighbourhoods safer and our lives more efficient,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. "Small communities should not be left apart from innovation, and our government is taking action to ensure smart solutions are developed around the province to help make life better for everyone."

People living in British Columbia’s rural and smaller centres need access to data and technology as much as people in urban centres. Through the Smart Communities pilot program, the B.C. government is encouraging municipalities to develop and use innovative technology that will transform everyday challenges into sustainable solutions.

The District of Logan Lake will receive $38,650; the City of Port Alberni will receive $28,800; the City of Prince Rupert will receive $22,120; and the municipalities of Castlegar, Nelson, Rossland and Trail will receive a total of $40,000 for a joint proposal.

Four projects will be developed that will improve safety and enhance civic and volunteer engagement. The projects include a mobile app, so that people can access timely emergency information; an online platform linking local volunteers with non-profit and charity groups; an online engagement platform to help people participate in local government decision-making, and a mobile app for information on road safety, accidents and road closures in the region.

“The B.C. Smart Communities pilot program is dedicated to supporting people living in smaller centres and rural areas, helping them access technology that will enhance their lives,” said Shirley Vickers, president and CEO of Innovate BC, the Crown agency distributing the winning grants. “The successful projects represent modern solutions to local problems and will help benefit people where they live.”

An evaluation panel reviewed each project proposal and scored them based on whether they met the definition of a smart community, addressed a local need, had consulted with residents and whether the initiative could be accomplished within a one-year timeframe. Proposals also had to address one of five themes: economic diversity and growth, energy efficiency and climate action, citizen engagement, efficient transportation, and community safety and resiliency. Each project was required to secure in-kind or in-cash funding from its respective local governments or regional trusts of up to 20% of the individual grant total.

Quick Facts:

  • The B.C. Smart Communities pilot program launched in May 2018 and invited municipalities and First Nations under 30,000 to submit their proposals until July 13, 2018.
  • A total of 10 proposals were received.
  • The pilot program was open to municipalities and First Nations with populations under 30,000. Grant awards of up to $40,000 are being provided to successful municipalities.
  • The Province of British Columbia will provide a total of $130,000 to the four winning cities through Innovate BC to fund each project for one year.
  • Smart cities technology has a global market predicted to have a value of up to $1.6 trillion by 2020.

Learn More:

To learn more about the B.C. Smart Communities pilot program, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/SmartCommunities  

A backgrounder follows.

 
Contact:
 
Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
778 698-2892
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2018JTT0045-002145
Nov. 8, 2018
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Successful proponents of the B.C. Smart Communities pilot project and projects

The successful proponents of the B.C. Smart Communities pilot project and the projects are:

District of Logan Lake

The District of Logan Lake will develop a mobile app to give residents access to critical information in case of an emergency. The municipality identified a need for a better way to directly communicate to those affected by the 2017 wildfires. The proposed app will communicate safety messages about wildfires, natural gas leaks, electrical outages and other information about current events.

City of Port Alberni

The City of Port Alberni’s project will link potential volunteers with volunteer opportunities at participating local organizations through a new online volunteer engagement system on the city’s website. The project aims to improve community connectedness and volunteerism by allowing volunteer organizations to better schedule, manage, communicate and recruit volunteers. Online services will be provided by Canadian company Tandempark, which specializes in developing and implementing volunteer management solutions for non-profit organizations.

City of Prince Rupert

The City of Prince Rupert will develop an online engagement platform to reach residents during major projects requiring greater civic participation in local government decision-making. The new online platform will allow people to provide feedback on important municipal projects, such as official community plans, loans for key city infrastructure and annual city budgets, among others. The project proposal will collect qualitative data and polling results, which will inform decision-making, be aggregated and published online. The project aims to increase public access and engagement with local government and improve policy-making.

Municipalities of Castlegar, Nelson, Rossland and Trail

The municipalities of Castlegar, Nelson, Rossland and Trail submitted a joint-proposal to develop and test a mobility platform that will provide residents with information about road safety, closures, wait times, and natural disasters. The platform will help people make smart transportation decisions, resulting in safe and efficient travel that decreases accidents and reduces pollutants. B.C. tech company Martech Smart Solutions will build the mobility platform, which will bring multiple data sources together into a single application.

 
Contact:
 
Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
778 698-2892
 

 
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