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Mar 30,2005 - Now News


By Leneen Robb - the Now News
Mar 30/05

Port Moody-Westwood MLA Christy Clark's announcement Tuesday that the province will give $400,000 to the Smart Choices Society is not the biggest news expected in coming months.

After Clark's announcement at a small news conference at the Innovation Centre, Bill Brown, former chair of the Smart Choices Society board, told The NOW that an announcement at the society's annual general meeting in May "will be larger."

He would not elaborate.

In a short speech to local mayors and city staff gathered at the Innovation Centre Tuesday, Brown said that of the 12 Industry Canada-funded projects across the country, Smart Choices has been "nudging and manoeuvring the provincial government to join us."

The other 11 projects already have provincial involvement.

Clark said the $400,000 will allow the province "to become a full partner" in allowing the society to make Smart Choices technologies available to municipalities throughout B.C.

One of the technologies involves allowing schools to create their own websites.

Clark said the Smart Choices project is related to Premier Gordon Campbell's goal of making B.C. "the most connected, most Internet-literate place on earth."

The provincial funding announcement ends three years of lobbying by the Smart Choices Society and local politicians for money to help fund the project, which has cost Coquitlam, Port Moody, School District 43, Douglas College, Industry Canada and now, the provincial government, roughly $10 million in total.

Brown said he did not know when the Smart Choices Society's May meeting, which will be open to the public, will be held.

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