Leader of companies employing 35,000 Canadians urge parties to foster innovation
The CEOs of more than a hundred Canadian technology companies have penned an open letter to the four major federal party leaders, asking them to step up to the plate when it comes to fostering Canadian innovation.
The letter, addressed to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May, says the parties need to develop economic policies that allow the Canadian tech sector to more easily access talent, growth capital and new customers.
“We’re writing because Canada’s productivity is lagging and our future economic prosperity is at risk,” the letter reads. “We want to work with all parties in this election to address this challenge.”
“If you look at what’s currently occurring on the political platforms, there isn’t much talk about innovation or wealth creation as being a key (topic) of this economic discussion, about Canada and its future,” said Benjamin Bergen, executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators, which organized the letter.
The CEOs add that their companies employed more than 35,000 Canadians last year, exported to 190 countries and generated over $6 billion for the Canadian economy.
CEO hopes parties commit to Global Skills Strategy
John Sicard, CEO of Kinaxis, is one of 110 CEOs who signed an open letter to the four major federal party leaders asking them to create a plan to foster Canadian innovators. (Courtesy of Kinaxis)
John Sicard is the CEO of Kinaxis, an Ottawa-based company that helps improve supply chain efficiency for clients such as Toyota, Honda and Merck and employs 700 people. Sicard said business is good, but growth is challenging because top qualified graduates are siphoned off by U.S. tech giants.
About one in four science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students leave for the U.S. technology sector, according to a recent study from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. MORE