Canadian government announces $50 million Smart Cities Challenge finalists

Edmonton

The Canadian government announced the finalist municipalities from the Smart Cities Challenge, which provides funding to communities using tech to improve city infrastructure.

Announced in November 2017, the Challenge asked local governments, Indigenous communities, and municipalities to submit proposals tackling economic, environmental, and social problems.

Each finalist will receive a grant of $250,000 to further develop their ideas into final proposals that outline design, planning, and privacy.
 

The government said that over 200 communities responded to the Challenge, submitting ideas in areas like reconciliation, protection of Indigenous language and culture, food security, education and health for youth and children, and affordable housing.

Each finalist will receive a grant of $250,000 to further develop their ideas into final proposals that outline design, planning, privacy, data protection, and project management components of their plans. The four winners will be announced in spring 2019.

The four prizes include one prize of up to $50 million, available to all communities; two prizes of up to $10 million, available to all communities below 500,000 residents; and one prize of up to $5 million, available to all communities below 30,000 residents.

“I am proud to see all the effort that communities have put into engaging with residents and in developing their Smart Cities Challenge proposals,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “I challenged community leaders to be bold and think outside-the-box, and I am pleased to see that they answered the call through the innovative ideas they submitted. These new ideas will result in positive outcomes for Canada’s middle class and improve people’s quality of life. I am thrilled at the meaningful, lasting and positive outcomes that this Challenge has already created for communities thus far, and look forward to seeing the final proposals.”

The 20 finalists include:

  • Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation, Ontario ($5M prize)
  • Bridgewater, Nova Scotia ($5M prize)
  • Cree Nation of Eastmain, Quebec ($5M prize)
  • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Quebec ($5M prize)
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ($5M prize)
  • Airdrie and Area, Alberta ($10M prize)
  • Communities of Nunavut, Nunavut ($10M prize)
  • Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec ($10M prize)
  • Greater Victoria, British Columbia ($10M prize)
  • Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario ($10M prize)
  • Parkland, Brazeau, Lac Ste Anne and Yellowhead Counties, Alberta ($10M prize)
  • Richmond, British Columbia ($10M prize)
  • Saint Mary’s First Nation and Fredericton, New-Brunswick ($10M prize)
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ($10M prize)
  • The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and Kelsey, Manitoba ($10M prize)
  • Edmonton, Alberta ($50M prize)
  • Montreal, Quebec ($50M prize)
  • Quebec City, Quebec ($50M prize)
  • Region of Waterloo, Ontario ($50M prize)
  • Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia ($50M prize)
Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.