Government of Canada kicks off the Smart Cities Challenge

Making our communities smarter by being innovative and using data and connected technology will strengthen our communities and create opportunities to continue growing Canada’s middle class.

On November 23, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, launched the Smart Cities Challenge in Calgary. Today the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, attended an event at UBC, inviting the communities of Metro Vancouver and all of British Columbia to take on the challenge.

Minister Sajjan encouraged communities to think smart and be innovative by working with the private and not-for-profit sectors and the research community to identify their priorities, set their own goals and come up with bold ideas to address them.

“This challenge—the first of its kind in Canada—encourages communities to innovate by using bold ideas to improve people’s lives," said The Honourable Harjit Sajjan on behalf of The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi. "Real change is happening already and across the country, communities large and small are bursting with new ideas. The Smart Cities Challenge will help bring them to life, and find solutions that achieve real and positive outcomes for residents. I am excited to hear the great ideas of Metro Vancouver.”

Detailed application guidelines are now available on the new Impact Canada Challenge Platform. Communities have until April 24, 2018 to submit their applications. Those that are selected as finalists by the Smart Cities Challenge independent jury will receive a grant of $250,000 to support the development of their detailed proposal and business case. Winners will receive funding to implement their proposals.

“The Government of Canada has recognized it must be bold, ambitious, and inventive when tackling difficult challenges," said The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions. "As the lead in the Government of Canada for the Impact Canada Initiative, I am pleased to be part of an approach that will help governments deliver meaningful results to Canadians. I look forward to the creative solutions that are developed as part of the Smart Cities Challenge and other future Impact Canada Initiatives, and to seeing the ideas of Canada's best and brightest come to life.”

Infrastructure Canada is engaging Indigenous leaders, communities and organizations to finalize the design of a competition specific to Indigenous communities that will reflect their unique realities and issues. Indigenous communities are also eligible to compete for all the prizes in the current competition.

Smart Cities Challenge Backgrounder  |  Follow the conversation #SmartCitiesCanada


  • The Smart Cities Challenge was announced in Budget 2017. Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is launching the first competition of the Smart Cities Challenge, helping communities across the country develop and implement their smart cities initiatives.
  • The available Smart Cities Challenge prizes are: one prize of up to $50 million, available to all communities; two prizes of up to $10 million, available to all communities below 500,000 residents; and one prize of up to $5 million, available to all communities below 30,000 residents Finalists will be announced in Summer 2018, and winners will be announced in Spring 2019.
  • Finalists and winners will be selected by an independent jury. An open call for jury members is posted on the Infrastructure Canada website.

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