Kanata-Carleton’s High Tech and Business InitiativePublished on December 14, 2021
The Fall 2021 Update Report
Supporting The High Tech Sector
And A Healthy Business Environment
Dear Residents of Kanata-Carleton,
First introduced in Spring 2019, my business initiative has established the framework for advancing the interests of the Kanata and West Carleton business community during my term at Queen’s Park.
The Kanata-Carleton’s High Tech and Business Initiative supports business development in our community by:
1) Profiling the Kanata North Footprint
2) Attracting Venture Capital
3) Strengthening Networks with the Education Community
4) Extending Broadband, Internet and Cell Services
This update report covers the challenging period from the onset of the pandemic through 2020 and 2021.
My local initiative builds on the Ontario government’s efforts to foster an encouraging business climate that will spur economic activity and long-time prosperity. As you will read in this update, through the past year-and-a-half, I have worked closely with Kanata and West Carleton business leaders to ensure available government support was provided to assist local businesses get beyond the rough periods caused by COVID-19.
With this pandemic we are living through unprecedented times. There are many serious health issues – as well as many important business and economic issues to deal with. Though we remain challenged by COVID-19, I continue to assess the needs of our community. Since Summer of 2020, the Ontario government has been active in planning for the recovery of our provincial economy. With the 2021 Ontario Budget and Fall Economic Statement, the government has taken strides towards long-term economic prosperity and greater innovation in the post-COVID-19 global marketplace.
I wish to make it easier for local businesses and entrepreneurs, innovators, and freelance professionals to succeed, whether they are operating in Kanata or in Kinburn – or any of the neighbourhoods in this City. With a clear set of objectives, I hope the coordinated activities outlined in my business initiative will bring greater prosperity to our community. For your reference, the original document can be found here and the March 21, 2019 media release can be found here.
For me, it is important that local business owners can leverage all of the support necessary to recover and proposer in the years ahead. My Community Office is working with business associations to ensure local businesses are aware of and use the available Ontario government support programs and services.
I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the work of our business and community leaders. Thank you to Jamie Petten, President of Kanata North Business Association; Lauri Moussa, Executive Director of Kanata Central BIA; Roddy Bolivar, Executive Director of the Carp Road Corridor BIA; Jennifer Stewart, Chair of the Carp BIA; Mischa Kaplan and Mark Nisbett, board members of the Ottawa Board of Trade; as well as representatives with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
I am pleased with what we have done together to date – and I know there is much more work to accomplish. I look forward to our continued efforts for our business community.
Your Kanata-Carleton MPP,
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton
1) Profiling the Kanata North Footprint
To advocate for local businesses and community interests at Queen’s Park, my MPP Community Office is:
- working with local business networks to assist in the growth of the high tech sector
- fostering and facilitating new relationships in the community and abroad
- supporting business owners with a focus on eliminating unnecessary government regulations
I am actively pursuing the objectives found in the Kanata-Carleton’s High Tech and Business Initiative, promoting and supporting local business enterprises so that our community will continue to be prosperous. My MPP Community Office is actively collaborating with local BIAs, business groups and leaders to advance strategic economic objectives of the greater Kanata-Carleton business community. Together we aim to support innovation and enhance the capacity of our business community.
What began with a concerted effort to raise awareness of the successes found in the high tech sector and at our community’s Kanata North Technology Park, has expanded to include the research and development and technology advances found in Kanata South and West Carleton as well. It is incredible to see the budding enthusiasm and many accomplishments in the west end of our City of Ottawa.
In reviewing the last two years, I will begin by reporting on my close work relationship with the Kanata North Business Association. Many thanks go to Board Chair Vicki Coughey and President and Executive Director Jamie Petten for their attention to detail in supporting the many advances happening in the Kanata North high tech business community.
I am pleased to have taken part in many of the exciting activities and demonstrations that are showcasing the high tech expertise in Kanata North:
- Official launch of Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Test Facilities
- International launch of a trial demonstration of CAV technology – the Ride the Pod trial
- CAV Canada Conferences – highlighting Kanata North’s CAV cluster
- TECHNATA, a tech expo and talent hunt organized by KNBA
- Kanata North Day at Queen’s Park
- Ottawa Board of Trade consultations to review local business issues
- 5G Roundtable - hosted meetings for Kanata business leaders and KNBA to speak with Ontario Finance Minister and discuss 5G issues and development of the digital economy
- With Premier announcing $1.5 million contribution to KNBA’s Hub350 facility
- Official launch of the Hub350 facility
From the “Ride the Pod” international launch event and the inaugural ride with Sir Terry Matthews on August 26, 2019, to the very first Kanata North Day at Queen’s Park on February 26, 2020 (read media), to hosting the Premier and officially opening the doors to the new Hub350 facility in November 2021, it has been a very exciting time for the local high tech business scene. (Photos below.)
This Fall, the Ontario government contributed $1.5 million towards Hub350 -- a new gateway to Canada’s largest technology park where corporate innovation partners such as Salesforce, academia, talent, researchers and emerging students can explore opportunities to collaborate and work. The Ontario Premier and the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade were in Kanata to make the announcement.
The Hub350 announcement is significant for our high tech and business community as it will bring together corporate partners, academic institutions, investors, banks and government funds to accelerate the growth of companies at a technology centre. The project will also establish a Digital Lab to promote innovation with five national media partners to broadcast news, events and history from Kanata North to attract investment and businesses to the park.
The Hub350 project will foster the growth and success of existing locally founded companies, and also protect the direct investments made by foreign multinationals who operate in the technology park.
In the provincial news release, I stated: “Hub350 will be a tremendous asset to the development of the high tech sector in Kanata and throughout the Ottawa Region. The provincial government is pleased to be supporting the Kanata North Business Association, which has done a remarkable job in bringing together all the essential elements of a dynamic high tech sector and providing the space for new synergies and opportunities to take hold. My congratulations to the many community leaders, and all the companies and organizations, who are making this important initiative a reality and contributing to the growth and prosperity of our business community.”
At the Hub350 ceremonies, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli spoke of the multiple visits he has made to Kanata to tour high tech facilities and meet with local business leaders. In his address he stated: “My thanks to the Kanata-Carleton MPP, who is a tireless advocate for her community and for this entire region. She is the one who really worked hard to bring this investment here into Kanata North today.”
Of course, through the last few years, the Ontario Premier and senior Cabinet Ministers have been in Kanata-Carleton often. They are no strangers to the Kanata and West Carleton business community.
My MPP Community Office staff are continuously arranging meetings and briefings with Ontario government ministers. There have been the following visits and business tours:
- Premier Doug Ford
- Ontario Finance Ministers (current) Peter Bethlenfalvy and (former) Vic Fedeli and Rod Phillips
- Ontario Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Ministers (current) Vic Fedeli and (former) Todd Smith
- Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney
- Labour Minister (former) Laurie Scott
- Small Business Minister (former) Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria
- Associate Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed
- Treasury Board President (former) Peter Bethlenfalvy
- Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop
Photo (above) at Hub350 announcement (from left to right) Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, KNBA Executive Director Jamie Petten, myself, Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Minister Vic Fedeli, and Associate Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed (Fall 2021). Photo (above), Minister of Small Business Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria in Spring 2020 speaking at a virtual roundtable with 60 Ottawa business owners and managers regarding the local economy and current affairs.
Photos (below) are of the Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy visits to Ottawa in 2021 – which included a stop at The Burbs in Kanata South on a tour of Ottawa businesses to discuss the 2021 Ontario Budget and, more recently, at an Ottawa Board of Trade breakfast meeting in November to talk about Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement.
Premier Doug Ford on multiple occasions visited and toured facilities in Kanata: most recently, making the announcement of Ontario financial support for Hub350, at a high tech roundtable with Kanata businesses, Renaissance Repair & Supply, Blackberry QNX autonomous vehicle facility, Leonardo DRS Technologies Canada, and in one of the briefing sessions with KNBA.
Working Closely With Local BIAs To Promote Shop Local Campaigns
These photos below are from the Fall 2021 and the on-going meetings I have with local BIAs. I had a productive meeting with business leaders from the Carp Road Corridor BIA in which we discussed business opportunities with their 1000+ acres zoned vacant land. Another informative meeting was with Lauri Moussa, Executive Director of Kanata Central BIA and Joanne Mutter, owner of JoJo CoCo Chocolate, in which we discussed retailers’ plans for the busy shopping season. I also met with Sueling Ching, President and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade (OBOT) to discuss the latest business news in the City. The OBOT is currently working with businesses to successfully move from the challenges of the pandemic. It has teamed up with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments to launch the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative.
Throughout the pandemic, the provincial government offered a wide range of supports to one of the toughest periods in the province’s history. This included nearly $3 billion in grant payments through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, available to businesses that were required to restrict operations because of the pandemic. A business could receive a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help with costs of PPEs and protective equipment, property taxes, energy bills, or extra support if the business had to restrict services because of public health measures.
Many businesses across Ontario benefited from this financial support – including here in our local business community. In Kanata and West Carleton, 459 businesses were provided grants totaling $12,116,775.
MPP “Shop Local” Awareness Campaign
Each December my Community Office implements a “Shop Local” awareness campaign for the Christmas holiday shopping season. The campaign was reformatted in March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, to run continuously throughout 2020 and 2021.
The awareness campaign reminds us that shopping at local retail stores provides employment for Kanata and West Carleton people, helps to carry the expenses of the store, and ensures our money remains in the community. When you buy from business owners in our community you are supporting our friends and neighbours.
Through 2020 and 2021, we have coordinated the MPP campaign to highlight other local community campaigns: City of Ottawa, Ottawa Board of Trade, KNBA, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Business Journal, 1310 News, 580 CFRA and more.
I take every opportunity to promote local businesses. Photos below are from Fall 2021 and include a visit to the Luna Café by Associate Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed, and my Carp Fair purchase of a “Old Carp” Vintage Thread t-shirt.
2) Attracting Venture Capital
My MPP Community Office is a source of information and will help to:
- make connections for businesses to learn about the opportunities for venture capital assistance
- make connections to provincial ministries and agencies that provide business support
- raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy venture capital market for local businesses and the high tech industry
My MPP Community Office has on-going exchanges with Invest Ottawa - https://www.investottawa.ca/ - and the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. We have consulted with President and CEO Michael Tremblay to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy venture capital market for local enterprises. We have also focused on objectives to expand markets, foster growth and innovation, employ more people, and generate greater profits and returned investment for our local businesses.
In 2020 I worked closely with Invest Ottawa and its Accelerator to secure provincial funding through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream for local tech firms working on novel COVID-19 solutions.
In 2021 I facilitated meetings with ministers and their officials for Invest Ottawa and local business leaders. These meeting included a consultation with Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and a meeting with the Association Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed (photos below).
I appreciated the on-going updates from Executive Director Sonya Shorey. Through this year we discussed the innovative initiatives and the entrepreneurs at Bayview Yards. There continues to be many exciting opportunities in our Ottawa business community.
It is truly remarkable that, since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of individuals and companies, has helped firms attract more than $666 million in capital, has contributed to the creation of more than 9,714 jobs, and has attracted $862 million in domestic and foreign investment.
Through the collaborative efforts with Invest Ottawa, we are continuously profiling local business developments and opportunities at Queen’s Park. Today, Kanata is included in the same breath as the high tech hubs in Toronto and Waterloo.
“MPP Fullerton never misses a chance to raise the profile of Kanata North and the significance of Ottawa’s high tech sector. Our tour of Kanata-Carleton earlier this year (2020) was very informative. She is very effective in showcasing local interests and her plan is evidence that she knows what it takes to create the conditions necessary to grow a successful business.”
- Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
3) Strengthening Networks with the Education Community
As a coordinating agent, my MPP Community Office will help to:
- strengthen the ties between local businesses and our Ottawa education community
- foster greater linkages between the high tech industries and Kanata-Carleton businesses, and our education institutions and public school system
- champion more sciences, math, data-management and computer technology in our schools
One important priority of my office has been to profile local learning institutions and prompt discussions about new relationships between business and the education community. I took every opportunity to discuss the important ties between post-secondary institutions and our business community (photo of me speaking to a University of Ottawa audience in Kanata).
Over the course of my time in office many exciting initiatives are taking place in our community:
- University of Ottawa and its Kanata North office is facilitating greater networking opportunities between alumni, industry, researchers and co-op students working in high tech
- Carleton University is partnering with Ottawa L5 Public CAV Test Facilities; and President Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon is championing “Ottawa as an education city”
- Algonquin College is establishing DARE District on campus, a new centre that combines an energy lab, Indigenous entrepreneurship hub, library, and analytics centre
- La Cite has opened a 40,000 square-foot Excentricite as a collaborative work space for students pursuing business concepts and commercializing products
In Fall 2021, Hub350 opened with the Ottawa post-secondary institutions the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College. Hub350 provides access to new post-secondary opportunities and ensures “the best and brightest Canadians stay where the action happens, right here in Canada’s capital region.”
The University of Ottawa and Carleton University’s Kanata-North campuses supports a successful partnership and a close integration of academic institutions in the technology park. Hub350 will play an important role in connecting talent with growing companies.
This photo is taken at the official opening of Hub350, in the [email protected] space at the new facility.
4) Extending Broadband, Internet and Cell Services
My MPP Community Office is working to improve the broadband infrastructure in the greater Kanata-Carleton business community and, specifically, to secure greater Internet services and better cell services for West Carleton businesses and residents.
My MPP Community Office is tracking promises that have been made by every level of government to provide greater broadband coverage throughout the western reaches of the City of Ottawa. This includes enhancing high-speed, high-capacity telephone, TV and Internet over optical fibre into the rural areas. We are ensuring all options are considered for West Carleton as it is recognized that this area has the slowest download speeds of anywhere in the City of Ottawa.
In Fall 2020, the Ontario government announced an investment of nearly $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access. Ontario has partnered with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) to invest $71 million in a $213 million project to improve access to cellular service and mobile broadband in Eastern Ontario.
As a direct response to the concerns of Ontarians and the impacts of the pandemic, Ontario is moving forward with its ambitious plan to bring high-speed Internet to all communities across the province. In the 2021 Ontario Budget the government committed a historic new investment of $2.8 billion in broadband infrastructure to help ensure that every region in the province has access to reliable high-speed Internet by the end of 2025.
Then, in April 2021 the government passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021. This legislation will help reduce barriers that can cause delays with building high-speed infrastructure in communities. This will help provide access to reliable, high-speed Internet sooner, while strengthening communities and the economy.
In August 2021, the Ontario government announced an investment of more than $109 million in Telesat’s next-generation Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, to meet future demand for high-speed connectivity at home and around the world. This investment secures dedicated high-speed satellite bandwidth for local Internet service providers to purchase at reduced rates, enabling them to provide affordable, high-speed connectivity services, including LTE and 5G, to various communities across the province.
Photo below: At the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) during the virtual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference in August 2021. Led by Chair Debbie Robinson, Warden of the County of Renfrew, EOWC members had the opportunity to meet with provincial ministers to review the pressing issues facing the eastern Ontario region. One of the key priorities discussed was broadband and cellular services.
From the Fall 2021 Capital Magazine, a publication of the Ottawa Board of Trade.
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