About 200 cities and towns have joined the Canadian government's pro-climate change and pro-social justice “Smart City” scheme, which was first announced in 2018. Cities and towns that join the scheme can qualify for millions of dollars in awards from Infrastructure Canada for implementing digital “smart” plans.
Infrastructure Canada claims “the Smart Cities Challenge is a pan-Canadian competition open to all municipalities, local or regional governments, and Indigenous communities (First Nations, Métis and Inuit). The Challenge empowers communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.”
According to the Smart City international movements, smart cities are committed to tackling “the urban challenges of the 21st century, such as demographic growth, sustainable development, digital transition, transport, innovation, safety, housing and citizen participation.”
In 2021, Infrastructure Canada gave $50 million, $10 million, and $5 million awards to different towns of different sizes.