Tech Talk column with Keith Macintyre

Tech Talk column with Keith Macintyre

Tech Talk: Penticton — The Smart City Champion of Canada

Keith MacIntyre writes a tech column exclusively for the Penticton Western News

What could Penticton do with a $50-million prize?

I am making a bold statement that Penticton will enter and win the Smart Cities Challenge recently announced by the federal government (

The top prize is $50 million, two $10-million prizes and $5 million to the winning communities in Canada to implement their proposals. The vision of the competition is to “inspire communities across the country to define their future with the help of their residents through the use of a smart cities approach.”

To quote Minister Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: “I am challenging leaders to be bold and think outside the box. I want you to approach the challenge through a lens of transparency, experimentation, inclusiveness, empowerment and knowledge-sharing. And above all, I want you to think about what will have the biggest impact on the people who call your communities home.”

A smart city approach is more than just technology and data. It is using an open, collaborative approach to achieve real outcomes to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology. I know that we have an incredible community full of leaders in Penticton that will come together and define what our most important community challenge is. Some examples of a challenge statement:

• “Live an active and healthy life”

• “Be empowered and included in society”

• “Move around my community”

• “Earn a good living”

• “Feel safe and secure”

There are dozens of ways that we can address these issues with technology, data and forward thinking. I’ve already started the dialog and the community is engaged and excited. I know I can rally the tech community and we can work with other community leaders to win this challenge.

What is the most important issue to you? What are the unsolvable problems? How do we solve them?

We are a community that is the perfect size to make real change that will help not only our community but communities around the country and the world. As a leader in the tech community I have the opportunity to meet and talk to talented tech professionals that are here, and many that are in the process of moving here. We understand what technology can do, and I want to bridge the gap between us and the community leaders that know what the challenges are in our great city.

I’ve been working with an emerging technology that could solve dozens of challenges from bike thefts to irrigation management to senior care to asset tracking and so much more. This can be an opportunity to put Penticton on the map as a leader with this emerging technology. There is an opportunity to create new companies, new jobs and show the world how truly innovative we are in Penticton.

I know that Kelowna is working on a proposal for this challenge too and I would like to see our cities collaborate together to share ideas. I would like to see Kelowna and Penticton as finalists and winners in this competition and show the rest of the country the innovations that are happening here. And in the spirit of competition, I challenge Andrew Jakubeit and Colin Basran to craft a friendly wager between our communities should one of us win and not the other.

Join me for Christmas #TechBrew at Cowork Penticton’s new location on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. Please RSVP, space is limited.

Keith MacIntyre writes a tech column exclusively for the Penticton Western News and is the owner of Big Bear Software Inc.

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read