TECHNATION joins global call to governments to adopt clear, uniform guidance around essential tech-related workers and services during COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA, ON (April 3, 2020)  Today, TECHNATION joined 28 industry associations from around the world in supporting the Information Technology Industry Council’s (ITI) call for governments at all levels, worldwide, to adopt clear and uniform guidance regarding essential information and communications technology (ICT) workers  providing and protecting public health and safety during the pandemic.

Workers across the ICT sector are critical to the delivery of digital services and related infrastructure in support of the public health response. Specifically, these workers are: aiding health care systems and providers; allowing employees and businesses to operate remotely; securing and servicing networks, data centers and cloud services; enabling e-commerce and the delivery of food, medicine, and other vital necessities; keeping students engaged and learning; manufacturing technology products and components from microprocessors to supercomputers; and otherwise enabling governments to respond to this global health crisis[1]

“During a mission-critical scenario such as this global crisis, information technology companies are providing essential services to Canadians, Canadian businesses and to all levels of government. The COVID-19 crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to supporting our health system, keeping each other safe, and maintaining our economy,” said Angela Mondou, president and CEO, TECHNATION. “I strongly believe through working directly with our international and domestic partners in the private and public sectors, together we will overcome significant challenges, support common goals and provide a clear and uniform approach to technology workers as essential services.”

TECHNATION has been at the forefront of calling on governments to include the ICT sector in their lists of essential services. Over the past weeks, TECHNATION President and CEO, Angela Mondou has reached out to all federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, expressing the following:

IT and IT infrastructure serve a critical role across Canada through supporting the efforts of health care providers, first responders, medical researchers. Businesses and governments rely on videoconferencing and remote connectivity to facilitate their work and to ensure the continued employment of staff. Families depend on online services to teach their children and to communicate with loved ones.

Any material disruption to or closure of significant IT operations could severely impact our industry’s ability to support these critical endeavours. To ensure the continuity, stability, and security of these services, any emergency or shelter-in-place orders must designate IT services and IT infrastructure as essential.

As of Friday, April 3rd, the following governments have included the ICT sector in their lists of essential services: Canada, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. TECHNATION commends these governments and urges all governments to include the ICT sector explicitly in their essential services lists.

In the days and weeks to come, TECHNATION will continue to work with international and domestic partners in the private and public sectors to advocate for the ICT industry. Now, as ever, governments and industry must work collaboratively to combat COVID-19 and build the digital economy.

Organizations joining TECHNATION in the ITI call include:

ACT | The App Association; Alliance Française des Industries du Numérique (AFNUM); Asia Internet Coalition (AIC); Australian Services Roundtable (ASR); Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication (Brasscom); Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES); BSA | The Software Alliance; Cámara de Informática y Comunicaciones de la República Argentina (CICOMRA); Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI); Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA); Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); Cybersecurity Coalition; European Data Center Association (EUDCA); Fiber Broadband Association; Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA); Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association (JBMIA); Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industry Association (JEITA); NASSCOM; Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA); Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA); TechNet; techUK; Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA); United States-ASEAN Business Council (USABC); United States Council for International Business (USCIB); and USTelecom.

Read ITI’s release, here

Read ITI’s statement to governments here.

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TECHNATION: Uniting technology, government and community for Canada’s Future. As a national industry association, TECHNATION is the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. We unite Canada’s technology sector, governments and communities to enable technology prosperity from coast to coast to coast. We promote growth by connecting Canadian scale-ups with global tech leaders; engaging the global supply chain; filling the technology talent pipeline; and providing advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities across industry and government.  We develop solutions to achieve both the national and global goals that Canada’s $184 Billion technology industry shares with governments of all levels. Technology prosperity that benefits everyone relies on a strong partnership between the private and public sectors.  TECHNATION was formerly called the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

As a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovation capacity, TECHNATION encourages technology adoption to capitalize on productivity and performance opportunities across all sectors. A member-driven not-for-profit, TECHNATION has served as the authoritative national voice of the $170 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 36,000 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates over one million jobs directly and indirectly and invests $4.9 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer.

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Nevin French

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