Millions of dollars each year are poured into our federal trade initiatives around the world and to a lesser degree our provinces follow suit, at least most of them do. And, while its fine to say that we should be relying on the services of the International Trade Ministry and our Foreign Trade Services and Consul offices, will it be sufficient to get us what we want (or as much as we want) – namely, more trade opportunities in more markets for our own local businesses and more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) coming into our respective communities?

The final leg of our cross-Canada rail tour brought us from the interior of British Columbia to the beautiful west coast. Passing through the town of Hope BC, the site of one of Canada's infamous World War Two internment camps for Japanese Canadians, then continuing to wind through the endless Rockies, it became clear that much of British Columbia is still pristine wilderness, connected only by rail, the Trans-Canada Highway, and the province's vast river system.

In March of this year, PSD published an article entitled, "The Top 7 Most Intelligent Communities: How 3 Canadian Cities Made the List." This article was extremely well received. We have noted your enthusiasm for the subject, and have decided to build on this article by partnering with the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), as well as the cities of Kingston and Stratford, to deliver an engaging and informative webinar entitled, "Small Communities, Intelligent Communities."

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Rural places get a bad rap. Usually considered an inconvenient distance from the real action, they have so much to offer: natural beauty, the peace of wide-open spaces, the built-in opportunities to exercise the body and restore the mind. They often have rich cultural legacies in which people take great pride.

Society depends on police officers to be unrelenting agents of public trust and security. Just and effective policing is a highly cooperative exercise that requires professionalism and accountability from both police officers and the public. Recent advancements in camera, battery, and cloud-based technology have the potential to greatly enhance the professionalism and accountability of both parties. The cost of outfitting police officers with portable body cameras is no longer prohibitive. These cameras can be comfortable mounted on the lapel, glasses, or head, and are made of remarkably durable materials. In addition, they have all-day battery life and can record and upload high quality images–in any lighting condition–to a cloud-based database for storage. This stored content can then be easily accessed and examined by authorized parties.

Currently, women hold only 24.7 percent of federal seats (76 out of 308), 26.4 percent of provincial/territorial seats (201 out of 760), and 23.9 percent of municipal seats (5,800 out of 24,239) across the country. Although women represent 52 percent of the Canadian population, they are not proportionately represented in public office. For this reason, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been championing a UNESCO recommendation to reach a target of 30 percent female representation among elected officials by 2026. Efforts to promote greater representation of female elected officials are necessary for several reasons. First, female inclusion in politics affects the very nature of the process as research indicates that women are more likely to work in a collaborative manner and include external input. Second, women can affect the issues by ensuring that a variety of viewpoints and different demands and priorities are part of the debate. Lastly, women's representation in government continues to be matter of equality.