Mayor and delegation champion high-tech growth in Ottawa during visit to Queen’s Park
March 6, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Sir Terry Matthews, of Wesley Clover International, led a delegation to Queen’s Park today to speak with Ministers of the Government of Ontario in support of high-tech initiatives and opportunities in Ottawa, particularly in the fields of autonomous vehicles and next generation networks.
The aim of the delegation was to brief the provincial government on recent developments in key high-tech industries, and to reinforce the value and economic growth potential these industries offer for Ottawa and Ontario. The delegation provided policy recommendations in support of their objectives, including:
- Support for Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Networks (CENGN), a not-for-profit consortium of industry, academic and research leaders headquartered in Ottawa, to develop a smart infrastructure test bed in Ontario, to foster development and commercialization of networking technologies, and to be a test environment for the new digital economy.
- That Ottawa be considered as the site for a provincial Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles, supporting the efforts of the Province to advance development of autonomous vehicles in Ontario.
In addition to Sir Terry Mathews, a champion of technology in Ottawa, the delegation was made up of Ottawa’s leaders in research and development, commercialization, innovation, and economic development, including:
- Ottawa City Councillors Jan Harder, Allan Hubley, Tim Tierney and Marianne Wilkinson, who have championed Smart City initiatives and the development of the autonomous vehicle industry at City Hall
- Ritch Dusome, President and CEO, CENGN (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks)
- Eric Smith, Head of Government Relations (Canada), BlackBerry
- John Wall, Senior Vice President and Head, QNX Software Systems
- Dr. Ruth Rayman, The Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre, National Research Council Canada
- Sacha Gera, SVP, Cloud Products, GENBAND
- Allen Lalonde, Senior Innovation Executive and Director, IBM Canada Research and Development Centre
- Christian Szpilfogel, Vice President, Strategy, M&A Business Development and IPR, Mitel
- Dr. Philip Church, Chief Technology Officer, Neptec
- Steve Langford, Vice President, Marketing, Wesley Clover
- Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa
- Sylvain Charbonneau, Associate Vice-President, University of Ottawa
- Cheryl Jensen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Algonquin College
- Frédéric Thibault-Chabot, Collège La Cité
- Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa
- Blair Patacairk, Managing Director, Investment and Trade, Invest Ottawa
- Jenna Sudds, Executive Director, Kanata North Business Association
- Chris Cope, Economic Development Officer, City of Ottawa
While at Queen’s Park, the delegation met with:
- Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
- Hon. Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
- Representatives from the Office of the Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science
- Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth
- Hon. Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
The Ottawa Government Caucus, led by Minister Bob Chiarelli, accompanied the delegation in its meetings.
“The members of this delegation share a common vision of Ottawa as a leader in the high-tech sector in Canada and around the world. Together, we are working hard to leverage our strengths on many fronts, and in particular, to develop a sophisticated autonomous vehicle industry and advance next generation networks in Ontario. We look forward to working more closely with the Government of Ontario to fuel innovation and economic development in Ottawa to the benefit of the entire province.”
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
- In November 2016, Ottawa City Council adopted a motion supporting the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles in the Ottawa area, working alongside its many economic development partners.
- Ottawa City Council also directed staff to work with the Province to approve the testing of autonomous vehicles on Ottawa’s roads, starting in the Kanata North Business Park.
- There are more than 60 companies in Ottawa that play a role in the fields of autonomous vehicles and next generation networks through software, sensors, data analytics and telecommunications.
- Last fall, BlackBerry QNX revealed it was investing $100 million and creating 650 new jobs in Ottawa over the next five years.
- Apple has also opened an office in Ottawa to work on autonomous vehicles.
- Early this summer, Ottawa will launch the first ever autonomous vehicle test track on active city streets.
- The test area will be fully equipped with the latest GPS and telecommunications technology, and will be coordinated with City traffic systems and street lighting.
Help bring Canada’s Games to Canada’s capital
Residents can join in the excitement as Ottawa bids to host the Canada Summer Games in 2021 by registering their support at Ottawa2021.ca. As part of the bid process, the City wants to showcase the strong community support and enthusiasm for hosting the event.
The Canada Games are this country’s largest multi-sport event for the next generation of national team athletes and represent the pinnacle of interprovincial/territorial sport competition. It would be the biggest sporting event ever hosted in Ottawa.
In addition to the 4,600 elite Canadian athletes who would compete at the Games, the event would bring an estimated 20,000 visitors to Ottawa, creating more than 1,000 jobs and generating more than $150 million in local economic activity.
A community celebration held at City Hall today heightened excitement for the City’s bid, with more than 250 residents attending the party hosted by Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Jody Mitic, City of Ottawa Sports Commissioner, Ottawa 2021 Bid Committee Co-chairs Cyril Leeder, President of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, and four-time Olympian Sue Holloway.
The support shown by the community both online and at community events strengthens the City’s bid, which will be evaluated by the Canada Games Council and scored against other bids from Greater Sudbury, Niagara Region, and a partnership between the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. An announcement of the successful bid is expected at the end of March 2017.
“Ottawa is the destination of choice for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, and the resulting economic benefits for our community would be significant. The support expressed so far by residents has been phenomenal, and now we need to continue the momentum. We are asking residents to demonstrate their ongoing support by registering online at Ottawa2021.ca to help us bring the Games to Ottawa.”
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
“Hosting the Canada Summer Games would provide Ottawa residents with the chance to experience firsthand national-calibre sporting events where they can cheer on our Canadian athletes and future Olympians. The Games will also provide an opportunity to showcase Ottawa’s own talented athletes and our outstanding facilities.”
Councillor Jody Mitic, City of Ottawa Sports Commissioner
- The Canada Summer Games were last held in Sherbrooke, Québec in 2013, where they attracted 16,000 visitors and generated an estimated $165 million in economic impact.
- Promoting the nation’s capital as an ideal location for major national and international events and conventions is a cornerstone of the City’s economic development plan.
- The City developed the Bid More, Win More, Host More strategy in partnership with Ottawa Tourism to promote Ottawa as a world-class event hosting destination, create jobs and grow our local economy.
- The Canada Games rank alongside other major sporting events like the Grey Cup, World Junior Hockey Championship and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) championships.
- The Games are a two-week long sporting event that would take place in late July and early August of 2021.\