The hard stand of the Trump administration on immigrants could potential benefit Canada. with the US having stringent immigration restrictions that are unwelcoming on the other side of Canada cities like Toronto and Vancouver are warming up to these immigrants as they look to double down on their diversity. A lot of technology experts are moving to Canada with a city like Toronto which is full of potential being one of the fastest growing tech markets in North America.
Canada is among world tech leaders and it has arguably the best immigration system for foreign skilled workers. The business environment is conducive with the affordable taxes and similar legal set up for startups and venture capital as the US. Canada is transforming its cities into tech hubs that are safe, beautiful and fun. They are just the right place for young workers and they are welcoming to immigrant workers.
Canada lagging behind in the technology industry
Although Canada has had a safe business environment it technology industry is still lagging behind and it is 12 places behind her southern neighbour the US. The tech companies established in Canada have not managed to compete with US companies. For instance Balckberry Ltd (NYSE:BB) which was a flagship company in Canada lost the race in the smartphone industry even when it started off well. Canada is also home to social media tech company Hootsuite and E-commerce company Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP) among others.
The country has lagged behind in terms of tech companies and most of its engineers seek jobs in small startups or in foreign tech companies setting up such as Uber technologies (NYSE:UBER), Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC), and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT).
Canada has lagged behind because it’s geographic positioning with proximity to the US making it easier for most of its engineers to cross over to the US. Equally the US immigration policy is relatively lenient to Canadian workers who want to work in the US. Since US cities have already established themselves as tech hubs it leaves Canadian cities trying to play catch up.
Canadian cities tapping skilled immigrants
However the scales seem to be changing and the US hubs such as Seattle, Silicon Valley and New York will lose because of Trump’s restrictive policies on Immigration. The hard stand on immigration of skilled workers and his xenophobic attitude are making the US less attractive to foreign engineers. This has been shown by the declining enrolment of foreign students in the country.
The immigration policies of Trump could slow brain drain from Canada as Canadians become wary of working in the country. However cities like Vancouver and Toronto are likely to benefit from these skilled immigrants and what the country loses in outmigration can compensate through overseas recruits.
Increase in investment turning cities into tech hubs
Since the beginning of last year the country has seen foreign interest in STEM jobs grow. In the past two years there have been around 24,000 immigrant skilled workers in Canada. Equally venture investment in Canada has grown in recent past and last year it totalled $2.9 billion. With US tech giants opening offices in Toronto and Vancouver and start-ups increasing the cities will soon be tech hubs at par with those of the US.