Saw my friend Allen Lau on CBC tonight pushing for faster fast track immigration for startups. While I applaud his conviction to this cause, and I know it's always a challenge to find top notch local talent, I have to disagree that we need to make it easy to not hire from the local talent pool.

We need to build our local startup leadership talent pool to ensure we build a long term advantage rather than a transient pool of "ringers" imported from outside the country.

We have a great legacy of Hitech successes (Nortel and Blackberry to name two ) which show the value and capabilities of home grown leadership and talent. Programs like the embedded executive programs can be expanded to help transition our leadership talent into the startup world.

There are better ways to do this long term that bring a better benefit to Canada. Just my 2c.
Sorry Allen.
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Aram Melkoumov, James Martindale and 5 others like this

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Boris MannAre there startups that underpay or in general suck and this have trouble "hiring locally"? Yes. Is there huge overhead, arcane bureaucracy, and in general nearly impossible hurdles for startups attempting to bring in the best person for the job from outside of Canada? Yes. So, making it easy to bring great people into Canada -- who become permanent residents and eventually Canadians -- really is part of having top notch local talent over the short and long term.

12 hours ago   ·  6

Ilya BrotzkyTotally agree Boris Mann and Wayne Seifried!

11 hours ago

3 Replies

Ilya Brotzky

Alex TomicThis. The big picture is important. See my comment on the Globe and Mail article discussing the same issue the other day. As long as we have 300,000+ Canadians working in Silicon Valley, I find it difficult to take these claims of a talent shortage seriously. If there is a shortage, it's low wages that created it, and rather than let the market fix that problem, we have an attempt by entrepreneurs to get the government to intervene in that market? Seems counter-intuitive to me.

11 hours ago   ·  2

8 Replies

Alex Tomic

Aram MelkoumovWayne Seifried I do agree that companies need to invest more in the local talent pool that is hungry for the opportunities but don't have the necessary experience vs a foreigner. Startups especially need to create and nurture their hires to become the next leadership frontier.

10 hours ago
Aram Melkoumov

Bonnie Foley-WongAs the Canadian-born daughter of immigrants, who immigrated to the UK, and moved back to Canada after 12 years, immigrating her Irish husband in the process (and for all intents and purposes, I might as well have been an immigrant in Canada because my credit and driving history were practically wiped out), I'm pro-immigration, pro-mobility, location-agnostic, and anti-pushing around big stacks of paper. There's a lot that can be learned and shared across borders - I believe a mix of local talent and talent from abroad is good for a sustainable, rich and diverse venture ecosystem.

6 hours ago   ·  1
Bonnie Foley-Wong

Mark OrganA tide of immigrant talent will float the boats of tech startups here and allow us to hire and develop more local talent. One of the few advantages that we have over Silicon Valley companies with their enormous war chests is the ability to hire talent from abroad easier and Allen is correct that this advantage should be further increased. This isn't the government intervening in the labor market, in fact just the opposite - it is liberating the market. As Boris and others have pointed out, it's not a zero sum game, more immigrant talent = depressed wages and hiring of locals. We should look at talented outsiders as a strategic resource like oil or uranium in the last century. They make us stronger and allow more growth and development that benefit us all. We have hired amazing people from the US, Europe and Asia. We could not have built Influitive without them and I am grateful for our government in letting us bring them in.

3 hours ago   ·  5
Mark Organ

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Here's some perspective for Canadian entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley alone (just one region) invested nearly 20x the total investment in Canada (yes, the entire country) in 2014.

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Aman Moolji shared his event to the group: StartupNorth.

Quick reminder that the July edition of StartupDrinksTO is tomorrow! If you're planning to attend, please take a moment to register. Eventbrite link is in the FB event page. Can't wait to see you all!
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July 27, 2016, 6:00pm

Hotel Ocho

By popular demand we will be hosting the next StartupDrinks in Toronto on July 27th. Join us and keep the spirit of Toronto's startup community alive, one pint at a time. It's a simple concept: Have a pint, connect, share experiences and issues you are facing, and meet some of your fellow up-and-coming startup company leaders! Register:

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