Help New Glasgow win $5 million to invest in the community

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NEW GLASGOW — The Town of New Glasgow wants the help of its residents to bring a $5 million investment to the community.

Led by its citizens committee, the town is entering the Smart Cities Challenge, issued by Infrastructure and Communities Canada. The Challenge encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.

One prize of up to $5 million is available to communities with populations under 30,000 people.

“The Town of New Glasgow and its citizens committee are responding to the Smart Cities Challenge to grow our economy and our population and to reverse a story we didn’t write,” said Mayor Nancy Dicks, referring to the town’s consistently poor ranking on the Money Sense Magazine Best Places to Live in Canada list.

Most residents of Pictou County don’t agree with the ranking, which ignores important factors that position the area as a favourable place for townsizing.

Don Mills, one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research professionals, wrote in a 2012 article in the Nova Scotia Business Journal, “Townsizing is a growing trend where urbanized families are looking for a better quality of life, a place to raise kids in a safe environment, where transportation issues are minimized and where the cost of housing is more affordable.”

And Mills said communities like New Glasgow provide the kind of environment these families are seeking.

“Our response to the Smart Cities Challenge includes closing the economic divide, reversing population drain and building our own great story by leveraging our infrastructure of connected and collaborative technologies and the mobile workforce to become Canada’s capital of townsizing,” said Dicks.

“We want to hear from you. People who live here know this is a great place to live with caring people, connected communities, a rich natural environment, and a growing tech sector,” she said.

“We want you to help us rewrite the story, we need your input.”

Go to to provide your ideas before Wednesday, April 11.

In kicking off the Smart Cities Challenge, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi encouraged communities like New Glasgow to think about what will have the biggest impact on the people who live there.

The contest asks communities to design innovative solutions to problems such as traffic congestion, difficulty accessing services or challenges with public transit.

“Across the country, communities large and small are bursting with new ideas. As Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, I have been privileged to meet with leaders from coast-to-coast-to-coast and hear their bold and innovative plans to improve the quality of life for their residents. Through the Smart Cities Challenge, we will help bring these ideas and plans to life, and find solutions that achieve real and positive outcomes,” said Sohi.