It’s time for Canada to become an Intelligent Nation!

Ten days from now, on June 3rd in New York, the Intelligent Community Forum will announce the 2011 Intelligent Community of the Year. The winner will be selected from among the Top 7 finalists remaining in the competition that began with more than 300 applicants. Once again this year Canada has two of the Top 7: Stratford and Windsor-Essex. Last year, we had Fredericton and Moncton in the Top 7. The fact is that the world’s leading Intelligent Communities have consistently had higher rates of economic development and employment growth than their neighbouring communities. They certainly are innovative communities and they attract foreign investment.

Canada has islands of excellence, as evidenced by our performance in the annual Intelligent Community competition. However, as a nation our international standings in innovation, productivity and broadband performance continue to decline when compared to other leading nations. The goal of i-CANADA is to reverse this trend by encouraging and supporting many Canadian communities to all rise up to international standards and compete to be the Intelligent Community of the Year. If they are successful, not only will our communities reap the rewards experienced by all other Intelligent Community winners, but Canada will become an Intelligent Nation as we string together our pearls of excellence into a national necklace of excellence.

Last Wednesday, May 18th I was pleased to Chair the Executive Panel on Technology Trends as part of CATA’s Annual Gala. The following video provides comments from panel participants and during the banquet I described i-CANADA’s growth over the past year following our announcement of i-CANADA at the same Gala a year ago.

More than one thousand individuals, companies and institutions have signed the i-CANADA Declaration; ING Direct and IBM have signed on as Diamond Sponsors; members of the Governors Council already include Hon. David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick as Chair with a number of mayors and CEOs as fellow governors. Other Canadian leaders have joined the Advisory Council as subject matter experts and the Board of Directors is providing governance and guidance. Further information is flowing in the i-CANADA LinkedIn Forum, and I invite all interested parties in Canada to join the parade to raise Canada to Intelligent Nation status, while also raising our national broadband, innovation and productivity performance to once again lead the world.

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