At its meeting of October 10, 2017, City Council approved the formation of a taskforce led by Mayor Provenzano to submit an application to the Infrastructure Canada Smart Cities Challenge program launched by the Federal Government.
The challenge aims to empower communities across the country to address local issues their residents face through new partnerships using a smart cities approach incorporating data and connected technology. As part of the program, participating cities are asked to engage with its citizens to generate ideas and gain valuable input into the application.
“I look forward to speaking with residents throughout this process and working with our project team,” states Mayor Provenzano. “The Smart Cities Challenge is an opportunity to develop ideas from our community members, and use their expertise to find solutions that achieve real and positive outcomes for our City.”
The Smart Cities Challenge aims to give Cities and First Nation communities a platform for implementing bold ideas to address priorities that they identify. Communities of all sizes and from across Canada can apply and are encouraged to work with the private and not-for-profit sectors and the research community to achieve results that improve the lives of residents.
Participating communities will have until April 24, 2018 to set their goals, the pathways to achieving them and to submit their applications. Those that are selected as finalists by the independent jury for the Smart Cities Challenge will receive a grant of $250,000 to support the development of their detailed proposal and business case. Winners will receive funding to implement their proposals with prize categories of up to $50 million for one community in Canada and two prizes of $10 million for communities with a population under 500,000 residents.
“The program encourages communities to innovate and take risks to improve people’s lives and the cities they live in,” says Tom Vair, Deputy CAO, Community Development and Enterprise Services. “The program aims to accelerate innovative programs that focus on the achievement of outcomes that address complex economic, environmental and social problems in our community.”
The City will be hosting an input session on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Russ Ramsay room at the Civic Centre. Members of the public are invited to learn more about this exciting funding opportunity and provide their ideas for the submission from the City of Sault Ste. Marie. More information about the Smart Cities Challenge program can be found here.