ITAC Welcomes Cabinet Changes & Prepares to Kick Start ICT Dialogue in 2017 with New Ministers

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON – The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) welcomes the Government of Canada’s Cabinet shuffle announced today.  On behalf of the ICT sector, ITAC will continue our dialogue with the Federal Government as we move into 2017.

“ITAC appreciates the level of engagement across all federal government departments and is enthusiastic about the year ahead,” noted Robert Watson, President and CEO, ITAC.  “Adjusting any team is always a positive move as it recognizes the strengths of each individual and we look forward to continuing our productive dialogue with the Federal Government on growing Canada’s ICT sector.”

Trade & Competitiveness

Canada is a trading nation, both in goods and services and it’s important that the Federal Government work to maintain a strong relationship with our largest trading partner, the United States.  The technology sector is the future for the Canadian economy, and the United States is not only an important buyer of Canadian technology, but also a vital source of foreign direct investment and venture capital for fast growing tech start-ups.

With the possible upcoming review of NAFTA, this could be seen as an opportunity to modernize the agreement in light of the digital economy.  Minister Freeland and Minister Champagne are well placed to navigate the complexities of modernizing this vital relationship having successfully worked with the European Union on CETA.

Talent & Skills Development

One of the biggest challenges faced by technology companies is finding and retaining top talent. In order for many tech firms to grow and scale quickly, they need access to temporary foreign workers and other foreign talent. ITAC congratulates Minister McCallum for his excellent work on this file, including the announcement last fall of expedited Global Talent Visa. We look forward to continue working with Minister Hussen to advance this important file while maintaining collaborative efforts with the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Investments made in STEM skills are also critical to building a 21st century workforce in Canada. Funding and the availability of programming in early years (k-12) is a pivotal step in making sure kids are encouraged to enter fields in science, technology, engineering and math. Programs that promote experiential learning are invaluable for preparing students to enter the workforce. We thank the Honourable Mary Ann Mihychuck for the work she has done on these files and look forward to continued collaboration with Minister Hajdu.

Women & Diversity

Advancing women’s rights is an imperative to building an inclusive nation. We thank Minister Hajdu for all the work done in 2016 and look forward to new discussions, programs, and initiatives under Minister Monsef.

ITAC worked closely with Minister Hadju and her team, who helped to announce ITAC’s Women on Boards initiative last February with the launch of a registry of board ready women who have technology experience available to diversify boards in Canada.  We look forward to continued collaboration in her new role.

About ITAC

As Canada’s national ICT business association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) champions the development of a robust and sustainable digital economy in Canada. A vital connection between business and government, we provide our members with the advocacy, networking and professional development services that help them to thrive nationally and compete globally. A prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity, ITAC encourages technology adoption to capitalize on productivity and performance opportunities across all sectors.