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City of Fredericton: Winners announced in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge

Press Release

TUE, MAY 14, 2019

The City of Fredericton and St. Mary’s First Nation are proud to have been shortlisted among 200 Canadian municipalities in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, competing for one of two $10-million prizes.

Winners were announced today in Ottawa at the Smart Cities Challenge Finalist Showcase. Although Fredericton and St. Mary’s First Nation’s proposal was not selected, being a finalist allowed several community-driven and citizen-centric projects to be moved forward.

“We are proud to have been short-listed among 200 Canadian communities, and selected as one of just 20 finalists,” says Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien. “This has been an exceptional experience for Fredericton and St. Mary’s First Nation to come together to solve community challenges, especially ones facing our most vulnerable populations, such as those who are experiencing homelessness or accessibility challenges.”

“This was a collaborative, community effort,” said St. Mary’s First Nation Chief Alan Polchies, “from the hundreds of people who provided input into the challenges and solutions they wanted to see us address to the more than 40 individuals from 20 organizations who were directly involved in moving the pilot projects forward. Words cannot express our gratitude for everyone who lent their talent and expertise in developing a truly visionary proposal.”

During the finalist phase, Fredericton and St. Mary’s received a $250,000 grant to create its proposal and advance five key initiatives – the Digital Fredericton transformation, the Digital Community Hub, Doorable by Appdigenous, Non-Profit Data Collaboration, and Road Home Digital Platform. Much progress was made over seven months to test concepts, establish partnerships, create prototypes, establish data and privacy principles and considerations, and create an implementation plan for these initiatives. The pilot projects brought together partners from the City, St. Mary’s, as well as business, non-profit, academic and thought leaders.

The pilot projects focused on bolstering existing work that was already underway in the community to address key challenges. Work on many of the initiatives will continue in some form, likely scaled-back in scope or at a less accelerated pace. Alternative funding sources are being explored for some projects to determine how they can viably be moved forward.

Partnering on the Smart Cities Challenge has set the stage for Fredericton and St. Mary’s First Nation to continue work towards the creation of a future friendship accord, which will create more opportunities for collaboration.

Please visit for more details on the proposal and the work that was accomplished during the finalist phase.

About the Smart Cities Challenge

The Smart Cities Challenge is a pan-Canadian competition that was open to communities of all sizes including municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities (First Nations, Metis and Inuit). It was launched by Infrastructure Canada in November 2017. The challenge encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.

More than 200 communities participated in the challenge. 20 finalists were selected to compete for four prizes (one $50-million prize open to a community of any size; two $10-million prizes open to communities with a population of under 500,000, and one $5-million prize open to a community with a population under 30,000).

The partnership of Fredericton and St. Mary’s First Nation was one of 10 finalists competing in the $10-million prize category. The final proposal and pilot projects were developed using a $250,000 grant from Infrastructure Canada.


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