Research In Motion’s Corporate Head Office is located in Waterloo, Ontario, not far from Kitchener, its sister city. Despite recent downsizing, it still employs thousands in the local area. It should come as no surprise then that the Kitchener-Waterloo area is getting in on the BlackBerry launch celebrations. Normally, Kitchener has a bylaw that prevents private companies from using publicly owned property for self-promotion (Waterloo does not). But the city has decided to make an exception for RIM and will allow it to put up banners and promote its BlackBerry 10 launch with skating parties and refreshments.
The city council vote was nearly unanimous with only one councillor voting against the exception. For his part, Councillor Berry Vrbanovic who brought the motion forward said, “If we look at how much this company has done for the community and how important this launch is globally, it only makes sense for us to be supportive of it.”
Both city mayors were equally supportive. “There are very few companies that have had the kind of influence over this community in terms of the local economy,” said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran added, “It just makes sense for us to be supportive of RIM and to allow them to put their banners up. We believe in RIM.”
Thanks in large part to RIM, Kitchener-Waterloo is widely seen as a world-class centre for technology and innovation. It has been influential in setting up institutions such as the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. It is well known for its philanthropic contributions to the local area.
It could be quite the party in K-W in just over a week!
Read more: CBC News