Focus On Our 2008 ITAC Community Hero
The ITAC IT Heroes Program was created to give recognition to men, women and organizations that have employed technology to improve the quality of life of their communities.
Previous IT heroes have included the Toronto Children’s Aid Society’s Cyber Bus and the Nova Scotia Conservatory of Music. Last year we introduced you to a remarkable 17 year old computer science student, Kayla Cornale.
Now in its eighth year, 2008 was a year of revitalization for this award program. Recognizing that corporations as well as people can do incredible things with technology, we created a new category of award for corporate heroes. This new award category recognizes a for-profit public or privately owned business that can demonstrate the creative application of IT in improving the lives of Canadians.
This month, ITAC Online is focusing on our Community IT Hero, Dan Babineau, who represents the City of Moncton, New Brunswick. Today’s Moncton is the fastest growing Canadian city east of the GTA and it is clearly determined to walk the talk of a 21st century tech centre. Dan is the architect behind the City of Moncton’s drive to reinvent itself as an east-coast hub for IT and customer service centres. ITAC Online had the opportunity to sit down with Dan during our Annual Chairs’ Dinner and talk about the initiative and the award.
The City of Moncton New Brunswick is out to remould itself in the shape of a technologically friendly hub for business. The city recognizes that its economic future depends on attracting entrepreneurs and technology based business.
In 2007, the city developed and installed a free downtown Wi-Fi mesh network. This completely free network fulfills a variety of civic priorities. It gives business locating in the downtown area the benefit of free access, it extends the benefits of network access to all downtown residents including low income households, and by giving commuters Wi-Fi services on public transport, it’s helping to encourage them to leave their cars at home.
Dan Babineau, Director of Information Systems for the City of Moncton, helped the city move forward towards this goal by leading the project.
One of the challenges, and a perennial challenge for projects of this kind, was money. The project was being funded by the city, the budget was limited and there were concerns over the potential cost burdens to taxpayers. The city felt that the possibility of any additional tax burden to residents was unacceptable.
As the representative for the City of Moncton’s 2008 ITAC IT Community Hero award, Dan shared some of his experiences.
Starting with the
project itself, why take on a project of this size?
concerns over cost, what were the additional challenges?
How will this wireless network help
the City of Moncton become a destination for high-tech business?
The City of Moncton, New Brunswick is the 2008 Winner of the ITAC IT Hero Community Award
With Files From ITWorldCanada.com Staff
Frustrated by the fact that child predators seemed to always be one step ahead of law-enforcement a Toronto police officer decided to employ technology to beat them at their own game.
Paul Gillespie, an officer assigned to fight child exploitation on the Web, was a member of a team that partnered with Microsoft to create CETS, the Child Exploitation Tracking System, a database and investigative tool now in use by police forces in 30 locations across Canada. Designed to store and share information related to child abuse on the internet, the system is also being used in the U.K., Australia, Brazil, and other countries.
Gillespie, now an ex-police officer, still devotes his time to his work in eradicating child pornography and exploitation on the internet. Through his work with his company, Paul Gillespie Consulting, Gillespie travels the world helping other police forces and governments set up child exploitation investigation units and training officers on the CETS software.
In addition, Gillespie has just been named the Director-in-Residence of the Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa’s Centre for Cyber crime Research.
With Files From ITWorld Canada Staff
Thanks to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and the leadership of Vicki Mains, over 100,000 visually-impaired people have access to the Digital Library Service, a world of free digital information.
Mains, Director of Information Technology at the CNIB, has been involved with the project from the outset, first as a database administrator and later in her current role as director of IT, where she leads the teams that develop and execute the technology applications pertaining to mobility, storage consolidation and infrastructure.
The CNIB made history when it became the first charity in the world to undertake digitization of its analog library so its users would have better access to reading materials, supporting the organization’s vision of a national, equitable public library service for all Canadians with print disabilities, which includes those living with vision loss.
The goal of the project was to provide the CNIB’s 100,000 clients, who previously could access only three per cent of published information, with access to radically more information via a variety of formats such as by telephone, the internet, or on CD on demand. Delivery time on recorded information has been dramatically reduced and the organization is able to offer dramatically more content to its clients, free of charge.
With over 15,000 volunteers reading materials aloud to be recorded, the CNIB now boasts an immense repository of materials. In addition, CNIB offers access to thousands of titles in Braille, print Braille and talking books, descriptive videos, newspapers and magazines, reference and online services.
Executive Chairman Charts a Course for Canadian Competitiveness
The dinner provided a showcase for the presentation of the IT Hero Awards. It also featured an excellent address by Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Open Text Corporation. Tom's presentation included a "hot-off-the-press" look at Compete to Win, the report of the federally appointed Competition Policy Review Panel.
Tom was a member of the five person panel which was chaired by Red Wilson. The panel made a number of recommendations to strengthen Canadian competitiveness. Many of their recommendations reflected ITAC's own submission to the panel's consultations and align with ITAC public policy priorities. For example, a key recommendation is to improve the development of Canadian talent through improvements to the post secondary education system and fast-tracked immigration. The panel also recommended the creation of a permanent Competitiveness Council to provide ongoing public policy input to Government. This was one of ITAC's recommendations as well. For a complete review of Tom's presentation click here.
David Lynch: 2008 ITAC Volunteer of the Year
Canadian Women in Communications and Corus
Partner to Accelerate Women in Technology
ITAC Re-establishes Environmental Affairs
Forum: We’re Looking For Participants
ITAC/Research Money Conference Ponders How to Strengthen Canada's Entrepreneurial Talent Pool
Iconic tech company-builders like Terry Matthews and Antoine Paquin along with many serial entrepreneurs as well as young CEOs working on their first start-ups helped to create a lively discussion about what to do to build Canada's entrepreneurial capacity at the 7th Research Money Conference in Toronto on May 21. ITAC’s Chair, David MacDonald moderated and helped to design the conference as means of focusing attention on this issue and illuminating new measures the industry might pursue to develop leadership talent.
Call for Expressions of Interest for Board of Directors for ITAC's CHITTA
8th Annual ITAC
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U.S. Air Force (USAF)
IT Conference & Expo
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