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New Brunswick, Canada Premier Shawn Graham Named Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year

04/12/2010
The Intelligent Community Forum has named New Brunswick, Canada Premier Shawn Graham its Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year. Graham was chosen for his work in making New Brunswick the first complete broadband province in Canada, and for transforming its educational system to build a knowledge-based economy.

"It is a great honor for me to accept this award not for myself, but for the whole province of New Brunswick," Graham said. "The innovators in our province have been attracting attention of investors around the world, and that bodes well for New Brunswick."

Graham was sworn in as Premier of New Brunswick in 2006. His mission was to close the digital gap in his home province, and to move it to a predominantly knowledge-based economy by 2026. Although it is a largely rural province, it is diversifying its towns with communications access.

Graham's work has attracted a wide range of businesses and investment to New Brunswick. Connect NB, a government initiative that created 200 community access centers in rural areas, provides the tools and technology for citizens to search for jobs, improve their job skills, and access government services. Hundreds of thousands of people use them each year.

By 2003, 90 percent of the province was connected to high-speed Internet through DSL and modems. Graham focused on the IT industry, which now employs 8,100 New Brunswickers across 571 companies, and contributes C$1 billion to the provincial economy.

Call centers have also clustered in New Brunswick. Companies including IBM, Xerox, Purelator, FedEx, UPS Air Canada, and TD Bank employ 20,000 residents at their call centers and generate $1.5 billion.

ICF Co-founder Louis Zacharilla will present Graham with the award on May 21 in Brooklyn, New York.

For more information about Canada's Intelligent Communities, visit Location Canada.

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