Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Waterloo sticks by its favourite corporate son, renews BlackBerry service plan

A Canadian flag flies at BlackBerry's headquarters in Waterloo, Ont.


Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry Ltd. has never lacked for hometown support, even as it steadily lost ground in the global smartphone war. Last year, local politicians in next-door Kitchener voted to allow the company to run commercial advertising on municipal land – a rare exemption from a long-time local policy – to promote the launch of its BlackBerry 10 line. Now, the City of Waterloo has agreed to stick by its favourite corporate son by renewing its service plan with Bell Mobility so that its 204 BlackBerry users will continue to use the hometown product.

On Monday, council voted in favour of extending its contract with Bell for three years after it expires in mid-March. A staff report also shows the municipality has upgraded 50 of its BlackBerry smartphones to the BlackBerry 10 platform under a "pilot project." Mayor Brenda Halloran told the Waterloo Record earlier this week that the city is not considering changing to another smartphone brand.

"A lot of our crews will have them – all our planners, our bylaw guys who are out, firefighters," Ms. Halloran told the paper. "We just feel that it keeps us connected so that if we need to get anything done we have instant connection."

Story continues below advertisement

The city spends a total of about $172,000 per year on 370 handheld devices, including 166 non-BlackBerry mobile phones.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Sean Silcoff joined The Globe and Mail in January, 2012, following an 18-year-career in journalism and communications. He previously worked as a columnist and Montreal correspondent for the National Post and as a staff writer at Canadian Business Magazine, where he was project co-ordinator of the magazine's inaugural Rich 100 list. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨