Category: Country News

Why Tech Workers And Global Companies Are Choosing Canada – Salim Teja

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Canada was the business world’s best-kept secret. Progress and innovation in Canada — especially in artificial intelligence, clean technology and health care — has been monumental for decades. Yet, we stayed humble through those years of innovation. That is, until the country embraced its position as a destination for commercial investment and a world leader in artificial intelligence.

Now, Canada is empowering new companies to compete on the global stage, hosting massive technology industry events featuring the world’s best innovators and attracting international talent to work on world-changing innovations.

Over the past year, I have seen talent begin to flow strongly from south to north. More than half of the high-growth ventures we support in the MaRS ecosystem reported a significant rise in applicants from the United States last year.

The number of skilled foreign workers seeking employment in Canada has skyrocketed in recent years and the country’s stock rises further each time the Trump administration pushes its restrictive immigration agenda.

Scaling firms actively hiring from overseas include: Element AI, a tenant in the MaRS building that has created 250 new jobs in Canada’s artificial intelligence sector after raising $137.5 million in first-round of funding last year; Drop, a consumer rewards platform that MaRS provides free advisory services to, which had 10 employees at the end of 2017 and recently reached a headcount of 30 in the midst of an aggressive hiring spree following a $21 million Series A raise

Eventmobi, another company MaRS provides free advisory service to which creates apps for events and last year grew to nearly 100 staff with plans to add another 45 positions this year. It’s not just talent heading to startups. Students and scientists are also arriving in record numbers. Recently, 24 top academics from around the world were recruited by the Canada 150 Research Chairs Program, which is spending $117 million on seven-year grants for leading researchers.

They include Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, a professor at Brown University known for her work on fake news and Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a Harvard chemistry professor working on quantum computing and clean energy. A fair amount has been written about America’s technology industry brain drain over the past few years, but I’d argue that Canada’s recent brain gain has more to do with what’s working here – like inclusive public policies – than what’s not working elsewhere.

Through my own work with startups, corporates and government partners, I’ve seen clear evidence that talented engineers, tech entrepreneurs and investors are actively choosing to locate or launch in Canada – especially Toronto. Canada’s public and commercial sectors place a premium on growing entrepreneurial communities and connecting them with the best business and academic institutions. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are growing as hubs for startups.

The expanding reputations of these cities is due to their proximity to key corporate markets in the U.S., local population diversity and prestigious academic institutions. In fact, the greater Toronto region is home to thousands of startups and multinational companies. There is also a strong stream of technical and nontechnical recruits from the University of Toronto, a MaRS partner, and the University of Waterloo welcomed by businesses each year.

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Canada’s warmth toward people and startups looking for opportunity has never been more visible – and impactful. The country’s open commercial atmosphere also helps turn ideas into successful businesses and connect people to amplify their work on a global stage. I believe that’s why a growing list of tech giants and enterprises like Google’s Sidewalk Labs, Uber, a tenant in the MaRS building and Microsoft, a MaRS partner, continue to launch and grow significant operations in Canada.

Increased access to venture capital and public funding grants for small businesses have also created a moment of opportunity for startup growth in Canada. The combination of competitive tax rates and business costs and a strong economy form a climate ripe for success. Further, moving your startup to Canada is now easier than ever thanks to government programs designed to welcome promising immigrant-entrepreneurs into a thriving marketplace.

Indeed, Canada is home to some of the world’s best technologists, a welcome business environment and a localized innovation community with global reach. I believe that’s why startup conference Collision has decided to move here from New Orleans in 2019, Amazon shortlisted Toronto for its second headquarters and why the nation provides a compelling environment for young companies to grow.

Canada offers prime real estate to business leaders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and a diverse set of people looking for opportunity. If the country was an entrepreneur, that would be its elevator pitch on why people and ventures should choose Canada for talent, technology and trade opportunities.

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Better Off in a Cave: Chinese Count Costs of Apartments In Anti-Poverty Campaign


May 11, 2018

By Joseph Campbell

LIN COUNTY, China (Reuters) – Seventy-year-old Chinese farmer Guo Jiaming has lived most of her life in a cave, shunning modernity for a home carved into a mountainside that keeps her cool in summer and warm in winter.

“A cave is convenient and it’s warmer,” said Guo, explaining why she preferred her home to alternatives such as a high-rise city apartment, despite the cold winters of China’s northern province of Shanxi.

“An apartment building is only heated when the central heating is turned on,” she said.

“Old people like me can’t stand this cold during the winter,” Guo added, pointing to a wood-burning heater that warms her cave and the bricks under her bed.

Local authorities want Guo and other cave-dwellers to swap their homes for apartments in a nationwide campaign to relocate 2.8 million people to new homes this year.

The drive is part of efforts to eliminate extreme poverty by the end of 2020 in China, where about 30 million people live on less than a dollar a day.

The relocations are voluntary, say residents of Lin county, but Guo sees no reason to abandon her cave house.

A form of shelter known as “yaodong” that dates back thousands of years, cave houses, which typically have several small rooms with earthen walls, are common in China’s hilly north, where they are carved out of slopes and cliffs.

“IT’S TERRIBLE”

Nationally, authorities say the relocations are going well.

“Our work has been proceeding smoothly,” Liu Yongfu, an official handling poverty alleviation and development efforts, told a news conference in Beijing in March. “The common folk are very supportive.”But authorities in Lin county declined to comment on their relocation plans when contacted by Reuters.

Cave dwellers who have moved say they regret shifting, because they found bare concrete walls with no plumbing or electricity in their new blocks, instead of the finished units they had been promised, including furniture and television sets.

Zhao Yugui, a 54-year-old farmer assigned to a family-sized apartment, said he now lived 10 km (6.2 miles) from his fields.

“I can only ride a motorbike back to work in my fields and take care of old people and my wife,” Zhao said, showing a visitor round his flat, where wires protruded from bare concrete.

Hua Xiaomo, 50, recently moved into a nine-storey building in a different neighborhood.

“It’s terrible,” she said, adding that when she lived in a cave, she never had to walk upstairs.

“Sometimes it’s really inconvenient. The lights aren’t bright either. It’s dark,” she said, describing the area around her apartment block.

The cost of living in the city also chafes elderly farmers, who earn a meager 500 to 800 yuan ($80 to $126) a year. They say the government should provide an allowance.

“Those who leave need to have money. Where does that money come from?” asked 68-year-old Li Congdai.

(Writing by Elias Glenn; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Clarence Fernandez)

Vía One America News Network https://ift.tt/2KQML1c