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UK's Brexit and the US's Trump could help Canada's Tech Industry

UK's Brexit and the US's Trump could help Canada's Tech Industry
The vibrant tech sector of Canada is likely to have 182,000 job openings and there is a lack of Canadians to fill the positions. Because of the US’s president-elect Trump and UK’s Brexit, the foreign workers are refraining from entering the US and the UK, which might help Canada’s tech sector to fill those positions. 

Even it looks as if the residents of the US are wishing to relocate to Canada, as Canada’s immigration website had crashed because of the flood of visits from tourists to the site on the night of 8th November, after realizing that Trump will be elected as the president.

In fact, as the options to emigrate are decreasing, the website also got half of the rush from people of other places in the world, apart from the rush by Americans. The Brexit decision made on June in Britain, tightened UK’s border and restricted the flow of immigrants. It appears that in the Netherlands and France, the anti-immigrant right-wing parties seem poised for victory in 2017 which makes the world’s largest zone, the European Union’s feature, a question.

Every year 85,000 skilled international workers are entering America with H-1B visas, which are going to be tough under the new president-elect, Donald Trump. There are 71,000 Canadian tech companies which are providing 5.6% of Canada’s total employment and are accountable for over 7% of the country’s economic output. Canada is reputed for its tolerance and openness to diversity & immigration and hence, it is considered as one of the world’s last ‘safe harbors.’ 

The Chief Executive Officer of VIATEC (a Canada-based community organization and 16,000 sq.ft technology accelerator), Dan Gunn says “Donald Trump has definitely been a topic of conversation here in Seattle.” Gunn spent time in Seattle for Startup Week after the US election. “There are questions about what Trump means for tech and for tech workers in the States. Highly skilled workers from around the world, particularly visible or religious minorities who had their sights set on moving to the US, might look to Canada for opportunities instead.”

A small Canadian city, Victoria, has attracted several global giants including Schneider Electric and Amazon to game developers like Change.org and Kixeye. The Victoria city became famous as ‘Tectoria’ after building a thriving technology sector with the help of Gunn (head of VIATEC), before which the city was once upon a time considered as a retirees and tourists destination and known as a sleepy government town, with a population of just 350,000. 

Canada is growing, a thriving innovation sector, and advanced technology has become the number-one industry in Victoria,” Gunn says. “Nearly 900 companies employ over 23,000 people here. And they’re always hiring.”

Currently, there is a huge requirement for workers across Canada and the ‘Go North Canada’, was launched as an initiative from the Canadian government along with employers & industry organizations across Canada, to attract Canadians back home.  Whereas, more than 350,000 Canadians are working in Silicon Valley and other parts of the United States. 

“Canadian companies are currently looking to fill three different kinds, of roles: technical talent, experienced sales and marketing talent, and people in leadership roles who have experience scaling up companies,” says Heather Galt, Vice President for Human Resources at Communitech, an Ontario technology-startup hub. Galt is also helping in promoting the ‘Go North’ Campaign across the country. He says that there are better schools, short traveling times and an excellent natural environment, compared to the US with which Canada can offer a better quality of life for working. 

Now, it is easy for the companies to recruit foreign tech workers with the new strategy announced by the Trudeau Government. In general, the US H-1B visa processing time is six months whereas the Canadian work visa processing time will take nine months or more. 

“Dealing with red tape is the number-one obstacle to bringing foreign talent to Canada,” says Noah Warder. He leads operations at the Victoria-based startup, Sendwithus, which builds tools for email marketing. In addition, “It’s much easier to bring Canadians north of the border,” he says. 

It will take still some time to determine whether Justin Trudeau’s new immigration strategy is really helpful in recruiting foreign workers or not, the prospect of Canada’s attractive tech sector and the attractive wonderland are supposed to give several foreign personnel something to dream about.

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