NEWS

Summerside – The Living Lab

The City of Summerside and private interest are working together to envision, develop, and deploy technologies in real-life contexts for the betterment of the community and environment. A Living Lab is a platform for industry to collaborate with government to explore real-world issues and demonstrate how innovation can provide solutions.

A Living Lab is a new model; one that is defined differently around the world. For Summerside, the model will help establish a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will benefit the community now and in the future. The culture we establish will open the door for many different opportunities. Summerside recognizes that there are numerous avenues to explore and many different applications that can be born out of this environment. Assisting the development process by enabling participants with our unique infrastructure is just one way we envision turning concepts into reality.

Summerside and Partners are committed to advancing opportunities to assist in furthering the market potential for their initiatives

 

Entrepreneurial Summerside

Recognizing a strong entrepreneurial spirit in our community is important; understanding how to cultivate it is equally important. With this in mind, in May  SEDO provided an opportunity for stakeholders engaged in fostering entrepreneurial activity to attend the Start-UP Canada Institute, a series of seminars with international experts on entrepreneurial trends, growth, finance and education. The Institute’s program served as a kickstart for us locally, facilitating a common understanding and another opportunity to work together to reach our common goal of helping great business ideas become reality.

Going forward, we will be working towards ensuring that entrepreneurial businesses and individuals are well serviced, whether it is as a first-time entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, or a business that is looking to develop a new business stream. We are also looking to develop improved communications on entrepreneurial activity, celebrating successes and sharing the learning experiences.

So if your idea is ready for the next step, get in touch today; call (902) 432-1331 or email nancy@city.summerside.pe.ca.

Summerside Forward – Electric Vehicles and Car Sharing

Summerside is exploring the potential of an Electric Vehicle to Grid/Car (EV2Gr) Sharing program as well as Fleet Management Services for the City that integrates innovative programs within the community for the global benefit of both the organization and citizens of Summerside. By creating an “Electric Vehicle/Fleet/Grid Program” (EV2Gr) Summerside hopes to establish itself as a global leader in transportation infrastructure integrating renewable energy.

As part of this initiative the City is replacing some of its existing fleet with all-electric vehicle’s. City staff will utilize these vehicles during normal business hours.  Going one step further, the City is exploring the possibility of potentially making these vehicles available during off business hours to the public car share program and as part of the Ev/Grid initiative. This means citizens and visitors can utilize the vehicles for personal use as a part of the car sharing initiative.

The City has engaged various industry stakeholders to help research, develop, design and determine a potential implementation and operational plan to help launch this initiative in Summerside.

So what is Car Sharing?

Car sharing is about access to a car when you need one providing the option to not have to own a car.  Easy, reliable, self-service access for members to a fleet of vehicles – 24/7 on an hourly, daily and weekly basis.  A Car Share car can become your second car without the burden of ownership.

The Car Share Program’s primary objectives are:

  • Identify the technology requirements to execute the Program
  • Developing the EV Car Share program
  • Develop a day-to-day management plan
  • Developing the EV/Fleet management program
  • Grid Integration Program
  • Raise public awareness of EVs and Car Share Programs

City of Summerside Outperforming 2013 Development

If an 80% increase in business sounds like good news to you, read on, because that’s how much of an increase Total City permits have escalated this year when compared against last year’s numbers.  Year to date Summerside issued permits totalling more than $7.8 million as compared to $4.3 million during the same time frame in 2013.  Driving the increase this year so far are Commercial and Industrial Permits, showing a significant 375% increase over the same time period last year.  Industrial and Commercial permits totals for 2014 represent $3.9 million as compared to just over $800,000 during the same time period in 2013.   Residential activity has also trended upward in 2014, with an overall increase of just over 9.3%.  The City to date has issued in excess of $3.8 million worth of residential permits versus just over $3.5 in 2013, during the same time frame.

 

There is new construction on Water Street at the site of the former Shell which is puts an investment of $500,000 into a new super-convenience centre with fully upgraded fuel station. Uptown, the APM development at the corner of Granville and Ryan will soon be completed with Starbucks and the Pita Pit. Tim Horton’s on Water Street is spending almost half a million in renovations. As well, upgrades to County Fair Mall with Sport Check and renovations in the Holman Building are providing additional expenditures; almost $1.5 million into our economy just in construction cost. While all of the developments result in short-term construction jobs, however they also indicate an increase in long-term employment, which is a boon to our community.

 

New homes, renovations, upgrades; all which show a lively growth pattern from our residents, both existing and new. Pride of place is as integral to our city as jobs a 10% increase in residential permits have been experienced year to date 2014. Consumer confidence in home investment is solid.

Summerside Economic Development Office (SEDO) has also noted that the City is doing well when stacked up against provincial permits. In 2013 and even in 2012 the City was contributing about 7% of the total permit value of the provincial numbers. At this point in 2014 the City permit value is sitting at over 12% of the provincial total – a trajectory that we hope to see maintained for the remainder of the year. That’s good news.

P.E.I. beats Bali in best island vacation list

PEI Ranked top getaway on Continent

Prince Edward Island has been named the best Island getaway in North America and fifth best in the world by the readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine.

P.E.I. finished ahead of international destinations such as Bali, Sicily and the Galapagos, and Vancouver Island and the Florida Keys in North America.

“To see Prince Edward Island included on the same list as Maui, Santorini and the Galapagos Islands in an American publication is a testament to the excellent product we’ve built over the years,” said Tourism Minister Robert Henderson in a news release.

Henderson noted tourism is a vital industry for the province that provides more than 7,000 full-time equivalent jobs and accounts for seven per cent of GDP, the highest percentage of any Canadian province.

P.E.I. was in the top North American spot in 2003 as well.

Basin Head named No. 1 beach in Canada

Prince Edward Island beach tops Vacay.ca website’s top 10 list

Singing Sands Beach in Basin Head Provincial Park is the No. 1 beach in Canada because of its warm waters and unique sound, says vacay.ca travel website.

Canadian travel website vacay.ca has named Basin Head Provincial Park the best beach in Canada.
The website gave Basin Head the No. 1 spot in its top 10 Canadian beaches list published recently.

The website recognized Basin Head for having the warmest water north of Florida and for its famous singing sands. It also made note of the park’s on-site facilities, services and the nearby Basin Head Fisheries Museum.

“Basin Head Provincial Park beach has long been a favourite among Islanders and visitors alike,” said P.E.I. Tourism Minister Robert Henderson. “Our beaches are well known across Canada and around the world for their relatively warm water and beautiful white sand. They are also a key part of our marketing plan, and a big reason why visitors choose to come here, so this award couldn’t have been better timed.”

Other beaches in the top 10 included nearby hot spots, New Brunswick’s Parlee Beach and Sandy Hood beach in the Iles de la Madeleine.

Top 10 Beaches in Canada by vacay.ca

1. Singing Sands, Basin Head Provincial Park, Souris, PEI

2. Wasaga Beach, Ontario

3. Brady’s Beach, British Columbia

4. Ingonish Beach, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

5. Long Beach, Tofino, B.C.

6. Grand Beach Provincial Park, Manitoba

7. Havre-Aubert Beach (Sandy Hood), Iles de la Madeleine, Que.

8. Parlee Beach, Shediac, N.B.

9. Martinique Beach, East Petpeswick, Nova Scotia

10. Sandbanks, Prince Edward County, Ontario

The Guardian Charlottetown

Port Corporation wants public input on the future of Summerside Waterfront

The Summerside Port Corporation Inc. wants to know what residents would like to see on the city’s waterfront. The corporation is presently working on a 25-year development plan for the area’s expansive shoreline and it’s holding a public meeting to gather ideas. Dubbed a “visioning session” the meeting will be held Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Loyalist Lakeview Resort in Summerside. It will be lead by Ekistics Planning & Design. Everyone is welcome and is encouraged to bring their ideas forward, said Arnold Croken, president of the corporation.“We’re anxious to hear whatever the public has to say. We feel it’s extremely important to engage the community so that everyone who has a thought on what they’d like to see happen on the waterfront can be heard,” he said. The first draft of the development plan should be completed by the spring, at which time it will be made public for further feedback. Croken said he’s hopeful the plan itself can help to rebuild Summerside’s downtown area, which has had ups and downs in terms of development over the last two decades.“We’re hoping that with the community looking at this and with community brains at work, what we come out with is something that will try and change that pattern we’ve seen in the downtown,” he said. This meeting came about because of a report the port prepared more than a year ago regarding its best chances for future development. Its major finding was that expanding industrial applications of the harbour itself were limited, as the waterway is too shallow to allow for more ship-based business. That revelation narrowed the corporation’s water-based options significantly – so it has turned to the waterfront itself to be an economic builder.

“We own a number of properties on the waterfront and there are a number of other properties that are positioned well for development,” said Croken. The port corporation currently owns the port itself, Spinakers’ Landing, the former Burger King location and the Harbour Quay mini-mall. These properties will probably feature prominently in any plans made by the corporation, said Croken. But the port authority is not limiting itself to these areas in terms of ideas. Whatever plan the port comes up with is sure to impact the surrounding businesses; so it’s no exaggeration to say various community groups are following its plans closely. It will be interesting to see what vision the corporation has for the area, said Pam Montgomery, executive director of Downtown Summerside Inc.

“Downtown Summerside Inc. would like to see development. We’re excited that the port authority is taking the initiative to include other organizations and stakeholders in the planning process and we’re very pleased to be part of that,” said Montgomery. That’s a sentiment that was mirrored by Jane Sharpe, executive director of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce. “We think it’s great that they’re doing a public consultation as part of the process.

The port has met with our chamber executive in the past to try and keep us abreast of where they’re going with things. So I think public consultation is a great step in the process,” said Sharpe. As for what the chamber would like to see included in the port’s 25-year plan, Sharpe said they are taking a wait and see approach. Reserving comment until after December’s meeting.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

32 new IT Jobs at Summerside-based company

The addition of up to 32 new IT jobs at a Summerside-based company will mean a move to a bigger location, says the company’s CEO. Thursday, TUC Managed IT Solutions announced its plans to double its workforce over the next 24 months, resulting in an eventual move from its current location at the Holland College Waterfront Campus facility.CEO Mark Scott explained that the jobs are not typical entry-level IT positions, but rather high-skilled and higher paying Level 1 and Level 2 IT support technician jobs. “If I was to look at the typical employers that would come to the Island they are setting up call centres, they are setting up somebody to answer a script and do three things. That’s definitely not what we do as an organization,” said Scott following Thursday’s announcement. “The salary ranges, I won’t get into the exact numbers today, they are definitely beyond what the expectation would be for a typical call centre job.”TUC, founded in 2006, employs IT professionals to serve its North American client base from Summerside and its home base outside of Ottawa, Ont. The company, which took over Millennium Care, an IT company located in the city for three years, plans to add another 17 positions in 2014 and a further 15 positions in 2015. “We are in a fast-growing market,” said Scott. “If you think of how we use technology today, even how you, yourself, use technology today and how reliant you are versus five years ago, even three years ago, it’s a growth market.”

He added, “Corporate IT users, they have three or four different devices and they are becoming more and more reliant. You have more devices, you are becoming more reliant on technology — it’s with these organizations where we fit really well. “With the Summerside connection it really gives us that capability to do it on a 24/7 basis as well. We’re really excited.”

The move is being supported by Innovation P.E.I., which is offering a labour rebate of up to $417,000 if the 32 anticipated jobs are created. “This is a good announcement,” said Innovation Minister Allen Roach. “Since coming to Prince Edward Island, TUC has continued to grow its global presence as a provider of information technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses, to governments and a range of clients. Not only has TUC succeeded in growing its importance as a provide of IT help, it has been a consistent provider of opportunity for people who want to work in the IT industry in Prince Edward Island.”

Roach said the expansion will mean that more of those people can stay on P.E.I. and work in their field rather than have to leave for greener pastures elsewhere. “It will lead to more talented people staying here or moving here to build lives and careers on Prince Edward Island,” added the minister. “We are proud to be supporting this expansion.”

Scott said there could be partnering with Holland College and UPEI when it comes to developing programming to ensure a skilled workforce is available. “There are certifications, there is training, and we are working again with the province on different programs. Holland College and UPEI, definitely there are opportunities for us to work with them to upscale and maybe even develop specific, customized training,” he added. “We are really looking to people who have experience and beyond that working with the colleges and universities with co-op programs and new programs that would be coming out.

“Today’s kids coming out of university are pretty technology savvy and a lot of them don’t feel like living half way across the country in Alberta. We now, with TUC, will be able to be a home for a lot of those highly-skilled people who want work that is really challenging.” As for a move from the company’s current Summerside location, Scott couldn’t say when that would happen, but added the move is necessary.

He did say the company would remain in the western city. “We’ve had some initial conversations and definitely we want to be in a location that speaks to being a technology company. Again, there are definitely some spaces that we looked at that we are interested in,” he said, noting that the Holman Building could be an option. “Because we are a technology company and we want to attract people to feel like they are working in a technology company, a space like that speaks to that brand that we want to position ourselves with within the market.”

Scott added, “At this stage, we’re just in very preliminary on that. Within the next year we hope. It’s early days for that.”