Is Canada’s technology sector picking a fight with construction?
That was the impression left by one of Canada’s leading tech voices in a June 2 op-ed in the National Post.
In the column, Jim Balsillie, who chairs the Council of Canadian Innovators, makes an impassioned argument that any post-COVID-19 federal stimulus plan should abandon or dramatically reduce its focus on infrastructure investment and instead focus much of its agenda on support for Canadian technology firms.
According to Balsillie, “Using a traditional ‘shovel-ready physical infrastructure’ lens — whether roads, bridges or hockey rinks — to stimulate demand and drive productivity has no traction in a 21st-century global economy where intellectual property (IP) and data are the most valuable business and national security assets.”
That Canada’s technology sector should position itself to capitalize on federal support during the economic recovery makes sense. Canadian tech has not been this strong since the days of Nortel and Balsillie’s own Research In Motion (RIM). The coronavirus has ushered in countless opportunities for innovation and growth from which Canadian firms can benefit immensely. This could well be a game-changing moment for the Canadian technology sector.