Vancouver City Council Approves Digital Strategy

Vancouver City Hall

Vancouver council votes on a new digital strategy that will coordinate the city’s efforts to offer more web-based services and support the digital media industry through 2016 

In a unanimous vote, city council approved the $30 million four-year plan. Among the city’s nine strategic priorities: an incubation program for digital companies, a more favourable regulatory environment for the tech sector and increased community engagement via social media and the city’s website.
The digital strategy is a key component in Vancouver’s long-term economic plan and keeps the city’s regulatory framework in step with its increasingly knowledge-based economy, says Joan Elangovan, interim CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission.
“We are somewhat in the middle of the pack,” says Elangovan. “Some cities are ahead of us, and we want to really mature our technology and move the dial so that Vancouver can compete.”
In spite of announcements that Facebook and Amazon are setting up shop, and established B.C. brands such as Indochino and PlentyofFish Media Inc. continue to build Vancouver’s reputation as a digital media hub, the city still faces a substantive digital divide, says city councilor Andrea Reimer.
The strategy will increase accessibility at city libraries for the 17 per cent of city residents don’t have Internet access. While disconnecting may be choice in some situations, a lack of access disproportionately affects low-income households and seniors.