• NITGC Connecting the North
  • NITGC Connecting the North
  • NITGC Connecting the North
  • NITGC Connecting the North
  • NITGC Connecting the North

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NITGC History
In 1999, with the hiring of a new Chief Administrative Officer, the Municipality of Wawa, took the bold step of hiring a management consulting firm to undertake an organizational review. Among the key conclusions, the review suggested that Wawa could benefit from Regional cooperation and additional investment in Information Technology.

In February 2000, Wawa spearheaded an effort in the Superior East Region to establish a Regional Group of Mayors. To that end, the six communities in the Superior East Region (Chapleau, Dubreuilville, White River, Hornepayne, Manitouwadge and Wawa) formed the Northeastern Superior Mayors Group. Scheduled meetings were held monthly within the region allowing the communities to discuss items of mutual interest and cooperation.

Then in January 2002 Wawa hired the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre to prepare an Information Technology Strategic Plan for the municipality. This plan was intended to be used as a guide to not only update the technology used by the municipality but also as a guide for future investment of that same technology. The relationship between the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre and the Municipality of Wawa was strengthened due to the participation of Wawa’s Chief Administrative Officer on the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre Board of Directors.

In late 2002, Wawa began to plan for its initial investment in updating its information technology. Well into the process, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources announced its now ended GeoSmart Program, relating to municipalities and their use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology. Although the use of GIS technology was called for in Wawa’s IT Strategic Plan it was planned for at year three (3). The announcement by the MNR liberated that portion of the plan resulting in acceleration of the GIS Technology.

At this point, the concepts of the Northeastern Superior Mayors Group and Wawa’s IT Strategic Plan were “married”. Taking the concept of GIS Technology to the Northeastern Superior Mayors Group, Wawa proposed the forming of a Regional GIS Cooperative. Although this took some explanation of the technology and benefits, the venture was approved at the regional level and subsequently at each individual Municipal Council level. The result was the Northern Information Technology & Geomatics Cooperative (NITGC).

Applications were jointly prepared and submitted to both the GeoSmart Program and FedNor. Approvals on funding were subsequently obtained in the early part of 2004 and work on the project began in May 2004. A proposal document was prepared and responded to by several firms with the overall management of the project going to Wilderness GIS (Wawa). Sub-Contracts were let to Cree-Tech (Chapleau), the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre (Sault Ste Marie), MicroAge Computers (Sault Ste Marie) and Pensink (Sault Ste Marie). Various generous in-kind contributions were also made by software firms such as ESRI.

The project called for the capturing of orthophotography for five communities along with attribute data that included, Official Plan and Zoning information, and many of the major assets and systems of each partner community. The initial stage of the project was completed in February 2005.