By Brian Schultz
Winnipeg has earned a spot on the Intelligent Community Forum’s list of Smart21 Communities for the second year in a row.
What does that mean exactly? The award recognizes 21 communities for their use of broadband technology to facilitate social and economic development.
Other Canadian cities that made the list for 2012 include Quebec City, Stratford, Ontario and St. John, New Brunswick.
One of the draws for Winnipeg, according to the ICF, was the city’s effort to boost the digital inclusion of aboriginal and First Nations people. A new Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is helping community-based ISPs to extend coverage to 67 rural towns and villages.
The University of Winnipeg has also developed a diploma program designed to prepare aboriginal students for entry-level jobs in IT, while an association of IT companies is bringing ICT education to aboriginal youth in urban and rural secondary schools.