Tag Archives: featured

Toronto and Montreal Among Canadian Cities Competing for Amazon HQ2

Canadian cities are jumping at a chance to host Amazon second head office in North America. Amazon announced few weeks ago that they are looking for a second city to call home for their second head office. Amazon is ready to hire 50,000 employees and invest $5b over the next 15 years.

It is now accepting bids from cities across North America. However there are a lot of skeptics saying that Canadian cities can not compete with US cities due to large subsidizes some large US city / states can provide and that subsidies in Canada should left for small start ups and other initiatives.

Even though, seven major cities across Canada have made it official that they will be bidding and entering the process to get a chance at Amazon opening office in their city.

Canadian cities have a lot of competition south of the border as Dallas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, New York, Nashville, Cincinnati and even Houston are potentially bidding on the project.

Amazon’s demands? They want a city with more than one million, a “stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure,” easy to attract tech workers to live there and a site with public transit and close to highways and airports. Also they want government handouts 😉 … subsidies.


GeekWire, tech news site, crunched the data and came up with the following Top 10 Contender list according to their scientific research described below.

Criteria demanded by Amazon:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

Starting with population, the easiest one to quantify, GeekWire did the search with a list of 59 North American metro areas, including six in Canada. Here is the top 10 list they came up with (#2 was Seattle but they have excluded that):

  1. Toronto
  2. Ottawa, Ont.
  3. Boston
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Chicago
  6. Atlanta
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Charlotte, N.C.
  9. Montréal
  10. Vancouver, B.C.

Whether your city is on the list or not – do not worry about it. October 19th is the deadline to submit the bid. Let’s wait and see who gets it.


Want to Hire / Get a Tech Job Work Permit in Canada? 2 Weeks is All You Need With a New Program

PLEASE NOTE: This became one of our most read articles. Mostly by professionals outside of Canada trying to get a tech job in Canada.

Below article describes the process what CANADIAN company needs to do to extend an offer. For candidates applying, you still need to apply, interview and secure a job offer from Canadian company.

After you accept an offer, Canadian company would need to figure out the work visa category to submit your profile through, do market labour assessment, pay the fee and submit your profile to the government for review. Government guarantees 2 week turn around time.

However, some Canadian companies even with 2 week turn around time still do not want to go through the process due to fees, legalities, headache involved.

Please note that it is illegal for company to ask candidate to pay the processing fee. Good luck.

After months, and years of waiting , Global Skills Strategy has finally arrived.

Canada has shortage of IT talent, sometimes candidates from abroad ask for salary of $60,000-70,000 just to end up getting $100,000 because of their skills are so in demand. The government of Canada realized that the only way to keep the economy going is to get some skilled workers into Canada fast. And by fast, we mean super fast, like 2 weeks after you apply fast.

Here is how the whole process works, please bear in mind, this has just started and there might be some caveats down the road:

  • First – figure out if you qualify – there are two categories through which you can get in:Category A:There are 2 paths to be eligible in Category A:1) Designated Partner for referral to Services Canada.The Partners are:Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
    BC Tech Association
    Business Development Bank of Canada
    Communitech Corporation
    Council of Canadian Innovators
    Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
    Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
    ICT Manitoba (ICTAM)
    Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Accelerated Growth Service
    MaRS Discovery District
    National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
    Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
    Ontario Ministry of Economic Growth and Development
    VENN Innovation2) Hiring talent that has Advanced knowledge of the industry or an Advanced degree in an area of specialization of interest to the employer; AND/OR Minimum of five years of experience in the field of specialized experience; AND A highly paid position with a salary of usually $80,000 or more. If you are hiring talent with this profile, you can apply directly to the Global Skills Visa.
  •  Category B: For Category B of the Global Talent Stream, employers must hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the following list:
  • National Occupations Classification (NOC) code Occupation Minimum wage requirement (annual salary) Minimum wage requirement (hourly rate)
    0213 Computer and information systems managers not applicable not applicable
    2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) not applicable not applicable
    2171 Information systems analysts and consultants not applicable not applicable
    2172 Database analysts and data administrators not applicable not applicable
    2173 Software engineers and designers not applicable not applicable
    2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers not applicable not applicable
    2175 Web designers and developers not applicable not applicable
    2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians $81,000 $38.94
    2283 Information systems testing technicians $78,000 $37.50
    Sub-set of 5241* Digital Media and Design*position requires a minimum of five years of industry experience, and skills requirements including: 3D modeling, virtual and augmented reality; animation, level editing, editor and pipeline software and tools in applicable industry; other specialized knowledge of software framework in applicable industry (for example, Unreal 3.0); and/or, Experience in planning and managing a project. $80,000 $38.46

    OK, all qualified and ready to go? You can go ahead and submit that application: 
    Follow the guide on how to apply on the Canadian Government website that outlines the steps needed. You can apply online HERE. You must fill out the following forms:

    Global Talent Stream Application Form (EMP5624)
    Global Talent Stream – Annex 1 Additional Occupation
    Proof of Business Legitimacy, if applicable

    Also, make sure to read this Applicant Guide to understand how to best fill in the forms mentioned above! You’ll also need to pay a whopping $1,000 processing fee.

    4. Make a Labour Market Benefit Plan.

    Services Canada (ESDC) will work with you to create a Labour Market Benefits Plan during / after the application process. You’ll need to make different plans based on your Category. Category A: Commit to creating jobs, either directly or indirectly for Canadians and permanent residents as your mandatory benefit. Category B: Commit to increasing skills and training investments for Canadians and permanent residents as your mandatory benefit. In addition, you’ll need to make two complementary benefits with at least one activity for each benefit. The complementary benefits identified by an employer in their Plan cannot be the same as the mandatory benefit. Examples of Complementary Benefits:

    Increasing the number of Canadians or permanent residents employed full-time and part-time by the firm
    – Establishing educational partnerships with local or regional post-secondary institutes or with other organizations that are supporting skills and training
    – Paid co-op or internship programs
    – Developing and implementing policies to support the hiring of underrepresented groups
    – Directly training Canadians or permanent residents
    – Directly supervising and mentoring Canadians or permanent residents
    – Increasing growth of revenue, employment or investment; and
    – Developing/enhancing partnerships with organizations that assist with the identification of top domestic capital

    This will be done together with Services Canada, so don’t need to worry about it before applying!

    5. Work with Services Canada to finish application. After you apply a team member from Services Canada will get in touch with you either through email or phone to process your application. They will work closely with you to make sure everything runs smoothly and you can bring in the best talent that you need to grow your business.

This is the easiest and fastest way to get tech talent into Canada to date. Enjoy!

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2017/06/government_of_canadalaunchestheglobalskillsstrategy.html

50% More Tax for IT Consultants / Small Businesses in Quebec

UPDATE: Due to high popularity of this article, we’ve got multiple requests on where we got this #s and if this is really true. Did Quebec really decide to increase their small business tax 50% like that? Unfortunately it is true as references by the following newspaper articles below (at the end of this article) about new taxation for small businesses in Quebec.


If you are a small business in the province of Quebec this year, prepare to pay more in taxes. How is that possible you say? We already pay the highest taxes in North America in Quebec. Well now the government is going after small businesses to collect more tax dollar.

If you are an incorporated business in Quebec with 3 or less employees, you will start paying provincial tax rate of 11.9% instead of small business tax rate of 8% as it is currently. This can add up to $10,000 in extra taxes if you are making $240,000 a year.

When you compare corporate small tax to Ontario for example, small corporations there no matter how many employees only pay 4.5% vs 11.9% in Quebec – accounting for $18,000 difference. So it does matter which province you incorporate your business in.

Province of Quebec came in dead last when it came to entrepreneurship rate of 9.6% comparing to 19% in Alberta.

The Quebec government have decided that this way they are “helping” small businesses to grow by encouraging them to hire more employees. This is the only province in Canada which decided to “help” small businesses this way.  Quebec is already the highest taxed province in North America, expect to pay $14,000 more (around 10% more) in personal taxes than neighbouring Ontario on income of $150,000.

This change will of course not affect manufacturing sector as they were excluded from the change since their big unions were against it.

Alex Degrachev, an owner of a small tech business, Evolving Web, in Montreal, was completely taken aback when he learned about this change:

“Quebec government wants to “encourage small business growth” by increasing the income taxes on all companies with 1 or 2 employees by 50%. This is going to DISCOURAGE someone like me from starting a business in Canada.”

It is a mystery why instead of supporting very small businesses, Quebec decided to tax them the same as a big corporation with thousands of employees.

Maybe you think – it is only few percentage points why worry about it too much? Plus all those doctors and lawyers making millions they should pay their fair share, right? No – It does get worse.  The report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, measured the levels of entrepreneurial across Canada over the last few years. What they did was they took # of working adults who are setting up their own business or do have businesses that pay salary and existed for 42 months or longer.  Province of Quebec came last, with an entrepreneurship rate of 9.6 per cent, compared to for example 19 per cent in the province of Alberta.

If you are thinking of incorporating, it would be wise to think incorporating outside of Quebec as you would be saving upwards of 4% on your taxes.



Journal de Montreal for our French speakers: http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2016/02/21/les-pme-quebecoises-pourraient-y-gouter

and Globe and Mail for our English speakers https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-money/quebec-small-business-tax-hike-could-have-national-implications/article28699487/


15 Canadian Tech Entrepreneurs To Follow on Twitter

Recently, we showed you the top Canadian tech accounts on LinkedIn to follow if you want an inside look at the tech startup industry in Canada. Now, we’re focusing on the best and boldest tech experts that Tweet tips from across the country.

Follow these legendary pioneers in business and technology and your newsfeed will fill with riches, how to make it in business, and things you should or should not do. You’ll finally be that much closer to making your millions. American dream is alive and well but has moved north to Canada.

Here are our 15 favourite Canadian tech entrepreneurs on Twitter.

LP Maurice / Montreal, NYC
CEO & Co-founder of travel startup @Busbud. Entrepreneur, traveler, maker. Blog: @ASwellBlog.


Ian Jeffrey / Montreal
Father. Husband. Marketer. Speaker. Foodie. HABS fan. GM & CPO of True Key. Co-Founder of MTLinTECH & FounderFuel.


Tobi Lütke / Canada
Verified account @tobi @Shopify CEO by day, Dad in the evening, hacker at night. – Rails Core alumni; Author of ActiveMerchant, Liquid. Comprehensivist



Stewart Butterfield / West coast
Slack boss • Flickr co-founder • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ • I’m trying my hardest!


Robert Herjavec / Wherever I need to be.
Dad, Husband, Founder & CEO of global cybersecurity firm Herjavec Group, Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, Author


Ryan Holmes / YVR/SFO/NYC
Entrepreneur, investor, future enthusiast, inventor, hacker. Lover of dogs, owls and outdoor pursuits. Founder and CEO of Hootsuite.


Darrell Etherington / Toronto, ON
Transportation and automotive reporter at TechCrunch


Allen Lau / Toronto-Waterloo Corridor
Married2 @MrsEvaLau. @Wattpad CEO/cofounder. 3x entrepreneur. Two Small Fish Ventures cofounder. Jesus follwr. I luv wattpadding,gadgets,cars&making new things.



Shahrzad Rafati / Vancouver, Canada
<em?Founder and CEO @BroadbandTV – Avid about job creation, entrepreneurism, critical & creative thinking, and healthy lifestyles.


Andrew Casale – Toronto / New York
President & CEO of Index Exchange, sarcastic, sometimes thoughtful, ad tech exec Toronto / New York


Eva Lau / Canada
Co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, former Head of Community of @Wattpad. Married to @allenlau and most importantly, I’m a mom 🙂


Ted Livingston
Founder and CEO of @Kik


Michael Litt
CEO at @vidyard & loving it. Interested in video? What about the rise of the machines? How has technology allowed you to be more human?

Shaliza Somani / Toronto, Ontario
Shaliza Somani is a seasoned professional with over 10 years of experience specializing in internet marketing, business development and operations management.


Allan Wille / Ottawa, Canada
Father of two, husband, and CEO at Klipfolio. Cyclist, designer, optimist, and generalist.


Canadian Tech Community asks Govt of Canada to accept more immigrants: Diversity is our strength

The following letter was published on Facebook few days ago by the Canadian Tech Community and sent to the Government of Canada for consideration. This was done due to a recent ban by the American president, Donald Trump, in the US.

This letter is in addition to Immigration Open Letter signed by Facebook and Microsoft in the United States partly stating:

We share your goal of ensuring that our immigration system meets today’s security needs and keeps our country safe, We are concerned, however, that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country’s success. We hire both thousands of Americans and some of the most talented people from abroad, who work together to help our companies succeed and expand our overall employment. Please use companies as a resource to help achieve immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values.”

The following Canadian letter is asking Canadian government to give special consideration to people who were banned under Trump’s order to be able to work in Canada with full benefits and potential apply for permanent residency in Canada.

The Canadian tech community comprises many different nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, mental and physical abilities, and perspectives. We believe that this diversity is a source of strength and opportunity.

On this topic, we are united.

Canadian tech companies understand the power of inclusion and diversity of thought, and that talent and skill know no borders. In choosing to hire, train, and mentor the best people in the world, we can build global companies that grow our economy. By embracing diversity, we can drive innovation to benefit the world.

The 21st century will be driven by pluralistic economies powered by pluralistic societies.

This is a belief founded upon personal experience for many in our community. Many Canadian tech entrepreneurs are immigrants, are the children of immigrants, employ and have been employed by immigrants. As connected economies, decisions by the United States can directly impact every business north of the border. The recently signed Executive Order to block entry of citizens from seven countries has already impacted several in our community.

As a community, we are all affected. As a community, we stand together in opposition to the marginalization of people based upon their race or religion. The Canadian tech community supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message that Canada will and must remain inclusive to all nationalities.

We also stand directly opposed to any and all laws that undermine or attack inclusion, and call on Prime Minister Trudeau and our political leaders to do the same.

The Canadian tech community also calls on the Canadian federal government to institute an immediate and targeted visa providing those currently displaced by the US Executive Order with temporary residency in Canada. This visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose.

Diversity is our strength. We as Canadians recognize our privilege as a prosperous nation. We believe providing refuge to people seeking safety should remain our compass.

In the hours following the US decision, many members of our community have privately shared personal stories of their immigrant experience. We ask them now to share those stories publicly so they may be amplified.