Tag Archives: jobs

Communitech Lures USA Based Tech Workers to Work in Waterloo Canada

Communitech, an organization that supports the entire “Community of Tech” in Waterloo, placed 9 billboards across Silicon Valley to invite US based tech employees to relocate to Canada for IT work.

Communitech spent $100k on the billboards and promises tech talent that comes to Canada from US that they will provide them with health insurance, and will provide an answer within 10 days whether visa is approved.

Communitech’s CEO, Iain Klugman, says that majority of tech workers in US are under H1B visa and that recent announcement that H1B visa will be cancelled put a lot of tech workers on alert and not sure about their future in the US.

Klugman says that presented a great opportunity for Waterloo region to advertise itself to some amazing tech workers in Silicon Valley who prefer work security.

It’s that uncertainty, and doubt, and fear that is creating an opportunity for us to come along and say, ‘You know, if America doesn’t want you– we do!’

At the end of the day, the country that can attract the smartest people, and retain the smartest people in their country is going to win.” said Klugman.

“We’ve had challenges getting people to move here for a lot of reasons but now we can say, ‘You know what? You don’t have to move. You can join a remarkable company right here in Waterloo, Ontario.’

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Iain Klugman, in an interview to Kitchener Today

Communitech CEO

Klugman also says he expects a lot of new foreign talent to come to Waterloo and Canada promptly but he says it is not very easy to attract tech talent to come to Canada even with recent H1B closures.

It will be interesting to see how Canada can compete with salaries that are more than double in the US as well as hundreds of very well funded tech companies in Silicon Valley to choose from.

Toronto’s Number of Tech Jobs DoubleS in 5 Years

A total of around 60,000 people were employed in the tech sector in the city of Toronto in 2019. That’s 16.6% increase from 2018. If you compare the tech jobs’ employment to 2014 for example, the IT sector in the City of Toronto has almost doubled.

Looking at the research, you can see that these companies choose to locate in Toronto because Toronto is a tech centre that offers a diversity of education and culture that builds successful organizations.

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John Tory

Mayor of Toronto

John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, has said most companies choose to pick downtown for their location but some expand and open offices in North York, Etobicoke, etc.

Tory said he was happy with the numbers but more must be done when it comes to access to opportunities in some neighborhoods in Toronto, as well as, improving transit around the city.

Security Firm OneSpan Opens R&D in Montreal

Security firm from Chicago is opening a center in Montreal to do their R&D. They will be investing $9m to operate the center there.

This is on top of their existing office there where they employ 150 employees. This new addition should add another 100 hires.

Company claims to have over 10,000 clients and employs over 600 employees worldwide.

Data breaches, identity theft, and financial fraud have become all too common features of our modern digital life. OneSpan is dedicated to protecting people from financial fraud and stopping billions of dollars in losses for consumers, banks, and businesses.

Our new Montréal R&D centre and the city’s world class technical talent will play a prominent role in ensuring OneSpan remains at the forefront in preventing fraud in the global financial services industry.

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Scott Clements

Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director at OneSpan

This is a big win for Quebec government who had their share of controversy in the last few months. This shows that current Quebec government can attract foreign investment into the province.

Eric Girard, Quebec’s Minister of Finance, said that “It is essential to develop high-level expertise in personal data and information protection in Québec. Cybersecurity and data protection remain a priority of our government.”

Montreal is well known in the world for its amazing game development contribution with companies like Ubisoft and Eidos. Now they can add two more to their list: artificial intelligence and cyber security.

It is impressive to see that Montreal IT work-force has increased from 100,000 to 150,000 in less than a decade.

UPDATED: IT Teacher in Quebec? You Might Need To Choose Between Your Religion or Your Job

UPDATE: The bill has now passed and is officially a law in the province of Quebec. Quebec’s bill 21 is the only jurisdiction in North America with a religion-based dress code, meaning you can fired for religious attire you wear to work. Quebec has also included a clause where so called “securalism police” will check in on work place to make sure no religious attire is worn, and “the targeted employee could be subject to disciplinary measures for failing to comply.” Hélène David, the Liberal critic that was against the horrendous bill in Quebec, said “It’s a sad day.”


Quebec government has announced that they have tabled the secularism legislation bill soon to come into full force in Quebec.

Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government has declared that they will ban the wearing of religious symbols by public sector employees in position of authority, such as teachers, prosecutors, judges, and police officers.

Position of authority is defined as the power to tell the other person what to do.

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That means when the bill becomes a law, and you decide to apply to work for the Quebec government in the position of authority, such as teachers, prosecutors, judges, or police officers – you will need to take off that kippa, turban, cross or hijab when showing up for work or risk losing a job.

Quebec Public Security Minister, Genevieve Guilbault, has announced that repercussions can be severe if you refuse to take off your religious garb. She said that:

“People can advise police services, like they do to have any other law applied. The law is the law.”

List of Quebec Public Sector Departments

  • Executive Council of Quebec
  • Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
  • Ministry of Culture and Communications
  • Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade
  • Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports
  • Ministry of Employment and Social Solidarity
  • Ministry of Families, Seniors and the Status of Women
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Government Services
  • Ministry of Health and Social Services
  • Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Ministry of International Relations
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Regions
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife
  • Ministry of Public Security
  • Ministry of Revenue
  • Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Ministry of Transport
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Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was taken aback by this populist decision by Quebec’s government saying:

It is unthinkable to me that in a free society, we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer usually never sides with liberals but on this Bill 21 he openly disagreed with Quebec government:

“Our party will always defend individual freedoms. I think a liberal, a society based on fundamental freedoms and openness, must always protect fundamental individual rights and should not in any way impede people from expressing themselves and in any way by infringing on those fundamental rights.”

In response to criticism, Quebec’s Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Jolin-Barrette said.

“Quebec is a nation. No one contests this reality and our fundamental right to decide our own future and the orientations of our society.”

Bloc Quebecois, political party in Canada devoted to Quebec sovereignty, has also decided to send a message to people in Canada to mind their own business by renting out the following bill board and putting it in Ottawa, not too far from the Canadian parliament.

Quebec government announced that there is nothing to worry about and they will work with everyone involved to make sure everyone is satisfied. The bill also includes so called “grandfather clause,” which means that if you were an employee before May 28, 2019 this law does not apply to you.

So if you are starting a new job on May 29, 2019 or after in the public sector in Quebec and do not want to part with your religious garments you might be fired because of your religion.

Harvey Levine, executive director at Quebec Jewish association, said that the new bill is “an assault on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Quebecers.

So now you need to decide whether to keep wearing that kippa or support your family financially. Decisions, decisions…

Netflix to add Production Hub in Toronto, To Create 1850 Jobs

Netflix just announced that it will be launching film and production hub at Toronto’s waterfront studio district.

They will have 84,580 square feet of space, that they are currently leasing, and will start filming within the next few weeks.

In 4-5 months Netflix is expected to move to even bigger venue with 164,000 square there.

This will help them with their production of series and films, including the horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro Presents Ten After Midnight, the film Let It Snow and others. Netflix claims that the new hub in Toronto will add 1,850 jobs per year.

Mayor John Tory has recently been talking and hinting about the Netflix studio over the last few months but it only got confirmed this week.

“I’ve been excited from day one about the interest Netflix has shown in establishing a much bigger presence in Toronto. Great crews, great studio space, great customer service and great companies like Netflix make Toronto the best place in North America to make television shows and movies.”

John Tory

Netflix has been in the news in Canada a lot lately due to their decision to invest $500 million into Canada and Quebec’s decision to tax foreign media companies including Netflix.

Is Ubisoft Hurting Canadian Tech Businesses?

National Post, a Canadian newspaper, as well as La Press, Montreal based French newspaper, recently published an op-ed piece about why they think Ubisoft is taking away talent from other tech firms across Canada. Here is a short summary.

Ubisoft has generated over $2.6 billion dollars in revenues last year, and is currently employing over 4,000 in the province of Quebec. It has also promised to invest further $9 billion dollars over the next 8 years into the province of Quebec.

But now, as pointed out by National Post in English and La Presse, Ubisoft became so successful it has started to hurt local tech companies because they can not attract and hire talent like Ubisoft can.

Quebec subsides gaming industry by providing the tax credit — between 26.25 and 37.5 % of total salaries paid to employees developing video games and other related multimedia products.

It made sense to subsidize the industry 10-15 years ago when Quebec’s economy was in a recession and dying for companies to come there, but now with shortage of IT staff in thousands, it might be the time to end the subsidy according to few local tech companies.

Eric Boyko, the CEO of Stingray Digital Group, a company headofficed in Quebec with about 250 staff in Montreal and another 200 in other places, criticized Quebec’s government decision to keep the subsidy:

“Every CEO I speak to in Montreal and in Quebec, their No. 1 challenge is attracting young employees and technology employees.” Boyko says it is outrageous that gaming companies can get the same employees as they hire at Stingray at up to 37.5% discount.

Eric Boyko, the CEO of Stingray Digital Group

Boyko also said that Ubisoft drives up the competition for software developers and therefore ups the salaries by up to 20 to 30 per cent, to around $80,000 to $120,000.

Dax Dasilva, CEO of Lightspeed, another decently sized software company in Quebec, said in his interview to the Globe and Mail:

Despite the sizable contribution domestic technology companies make toward Quebec’s economic prosperity, government policies regarding innovation have featured incentivizing for the expansion of foreign branch plants in Quebec over the growth and success of homegrown companies locally and around the world. This has had a negative effect on Quebec’s ability to scale domestic companies into global giants.

Canada is already facing a high-skills talent creation and retention problem, particularly in the digital industries. A recent study from the Information and Communications Technology Council states there will be nearly 220,000 unfilled tech jobs across Canada by 2020. In Quebec’s tech sector, we have been at full employment for a decade.


Despite this, government officials in Quebec and across Canada have been investing considerable amounts of time, energy and political capital into attracting multinational technology companies to Canada without any studies on the effect they have on the domestic tech ecosystem and our economy as a whole.


More concerning, these large companies pay little to no taxes to the governments underpinning their growth, as the profits they earn are realized at their foreign headquarters – not in Quebec. Local wealth creation is important because the taxes domestic companies pay on their revenues are reinvested by governments into the important social and infrastructure programs all businesses use and Quebeckers care about. The same goes for the capital gains reinvested by local investors and funds such as Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ and others.

Boyko continued saying that the foreign company that gets subsidies to come to Quebec does not create 300 jobs, but it instead steals 300 jobs from local companies.

Yannis Mallat, who runs Quebec’s Ubisoft office does not agree with Dasilva and Boyoko saying that:

“This program is helping to make Quebec and Quebecers richer. We are contributing to net growth in terms of the economy. When you [make] such a big investment, of course you want some guarantees.”

The Institut du Quebec recently published a new study that states that Quebec about 100,000 jobs are un-filled right now. South Ontario and Vancouver are in very similar positions even though their subsidies are not as generous.

What we need to do in Canada now with this historically low unemployment rate is to grow our wealth, not just create jobs.

Maybe instead of trying to import success we can give local tech companies a chance to grow. The new study, Narwhals Top 40 List, pointed out that Canada has failed to produce even one billion dollar business in the last 3 years while US for example had over 19 companies that grew to be valued at over $1b in the same period of time.

While tax subsidies might have been a good idea in 1995 when it was first created – now they make no sense according to La Presse – as we have now very mature market with a well established industry. If we would eliminate the tax credits, the jobs will not be lost, but rather transferred to other companies that are starving for some good talent.

Toronto loses Amazon HQ2, but gains 600 tech jobs

Amazon said it will be looking to hire 600 technology professionals over the coming years. This is on top of 800 they already employ in Ontario’s capital.

This news comes to addition of many other tech companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Shopify opening new offices and hiring thousands of new employees combined. Toronto can not build office towers fast enough.

Amazon is hoping to hire professionals in software development, machine learning and cloud computing fields.

https://twitter.com/OntarioNewsNow/status/1075163692596125696

Toronto office is one of the 18 tech hubs Amazon has around North America. Toronto was shortlisted down to Top 20 to be on Amazon HQ2 list but unfortunately (or fortunately) lost out to the City of New York and Arglington, Virginia.

Toronto Mayor said he was happy that hundreds of jobs are being created.