Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Tim Tierney were among a delegation from Ottawa to visit Queen's Park Monday, where they spoke 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.
While at Queen's Park, the delegation met with Premier Kathleen Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa, representatives from the Office of Reza Moridi, the Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, Economic Development and Growth Minister Brad Duguid and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.
The Ottawa Government Caucus, led by Minister Bob Chiarelli, accompanied the delegation in its meetings.
Did you know?
- 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.