Weekly Situation Report – April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020

TECHNATION launches a national approach

Week #3 of since we’ve been in full-on COVID-19 crisis mode, and Canada has shifted from ‘storming’ to ‘forming’. My experience with crisis’ is that it forces rapid transformation – and is an opportunity for great change. Our team has been working hard, embraced this mindset, and is busy launching new national initiatives in the spirit of #TechComesTogether.

TODAY: TECHNATION joined 28 trade associations from around the world in supporting ITI Council’s call for governments at all levels worldwide to adopt clear and uniform guidance regarding essential information and communications technology (ICT) workers for the purpose of aiding governments around the globe working to protect public health and safety during the pandemic.

This week we launched a National Tech Assoc. Forum. Our goal: to come together as a national force on behalf of ICT companies across the nation, sharing best practices and working together to bring tech solutions to government of all levels during this crisis. We’ll open an information channel on Monday to support this forum and ALL Canadian tech associations.

We also kicked off the inaugural and extraordinary national Public Sector Business Committee (PSBC) meeting, inviting members, and provincial and territory government leaders across Canada.  Perhaps our best attended remote event yet!

Also – check out our website for helpful links for SMEs; and our events section below for a quick, free webinar directed at SMEs during the crisis.

 Next Week: Re-Imagining Digital Government post COVID.  As mentioned, crisis brings change. TECHNATION is proud to be facilitating a COVID RE-Imagine initiative with the City of Toronto.  More to follow on this important mission.

We are thrilled to welcome our newest member – SkyHive – and the great partnership we’ve developed to help Canada solve Future Workforce Development challenges and solutions. Contact Mariana Kutin Morais for any questions on membership.

Finally, thanks to all of you for your incredible support and for what you do.  As we say in the Air Force, ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’, through adversity to the stars.  Stay Safe.

Angela Mondou

President and CEO, TECHNATION

April 2 hosted first ever National PSBC meeting; over 140 members heard from provincial and territorial governments about their work during the crisis. Hope to continue this engagement across jurisdictional lines over coming weeks and months. Next National PSBC in early May (awalker@technationcanada.ca).

Details surrounding the federal government’s support for small businesses continue to emerge.

Angela Mondou, President and CEO spoke with Minister of PSPC, Anita Anand, to discuss our sector during crisis and ongoing concerns re: public sector procurement. Discussions continuing – details to come.

Get your company profiled! Launching a one-stop TECHGOV Innovation Exchange to connect Government leaders to tech solutions and applications.  Complete the survey or contact Charlotte Macaulay.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

This is an especially challenging time for our SME and scale-up members.  Following feedback will be presented to the Minister of ISED next week, included with our request to bring forward solutions. Here’s a sample of our survey responses (English or French) so far:

  • How COVID-19 has impacted your business: Significant decrease in revenue; Staff layoffs/reduction of hours; Temporary closure of business; Relocation of office/work.
  • How has crisis impacted your business model: Multiple contracts now on hold; Customer demand shifted to lower price point products; Clients have limited remote connectivity infrastructure to allow us to continue to provide services; Airports and hospitals have frozen new purchases – no time to re-position.
  • Most pressing concern(s) during crisis: Revenue; Supply Chain; Employee Retention; Cash flow and need for immediate relief from taxation; Faster access to working capital, credit facilities to maintain operations.

Also – check out our website for helpful links for SMEs; and our events section below for a quick, free webinar directed at SMEs during the crisis.

Student Work Placements

TECHNATION’s Career Ready and the Student Work Placement Program remains in full swing, supporting many members and employers in their decision to hire students to work remotely. To date we have place 2,000 students; and here are just a few of our members benefiting: HP Canadian and Digital Boundary Group. Reach out if you are interested in learning more about how you can get a wage subsidy for a student for the summer or fall, contact careerready@technationcanada.ca or visit www.itactalent.ca/careerready.

AI for Societal Impact Challenge

TECHNATION, in partnership with Agorize, Microsoft Canada and RBC Future Launch hosted the final stage of the AI for Societal Impact Challenge on March 30, 2020.  Students from UBC, Team RNA ^ 2 won with their project C.A.R.A, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) App that focuses on sexual assault prevention through speech analytics. Details including national release and top three finalist projects will be shared soon.

Upcoming Events

April 9: 30-minute Cybersecurity During the COVID Crisis webinar. 11:00 a.m. EDT.  Generated to help SMEs tackle the challenges they are facing with COVID 19. Registration and details here. FREE – everyone welcome.

April 22: TECHNATION – Health Advocacy Committee Meeting. 4:00 p.m. EDT. Go-to-Meeting

April 30: TECHNATION Federal Public Sector Business Committee. 8:00 a.m. EDT. Go-to-Webinar

The Ministry of Health, Ontario:  Bill 188 Schedule 6 PHIPA received Royal Assent on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. TECHNATION’s Health division had reached out previously to confirm those related to PHIPA were deemed critical to the current COVID-19 pandemic; and asked if further updates to the Act would be made while the pandemic responses are in progress. The Ministry responded stating the legislation necessitates regulations being in place for them to take effect. Questions? Contact Senior Policy Advisory, Susan Anderson.

On April 1, TECHNATION and Digital Health Canada reached out to the Ministers of Health across the country (provincial and federal), letting them know that Canadian Digital Health Professionals stand ready to deliver Innovative Healthcare Solutions during COVID-19 Pandemic (English and French).

April 15: Ministry of Health’s Virtual Market Sounding Day to harness the expertise of health care innovators on how to respond to patient and provider insights to improve health care system navigation.  Interested parties must register for an account to see additional information and complete the vendor background questionnaire. To apply, visit the Ontario Tenders Portal .



HELP A STUDENT/ FAMILY OUT! Lending Laptops: The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) has started a new program with the help of Canadian businesses to supply laptops and computers to families in need; especially important now that students who need one to do their school work, can’t access local libraries or gain online access from home.  If you are a company with unwanted devices call 1.877.9EWASTE, email info@era.ca or fill in their form online now! Thanks to CIO Association of Canada for sharing the news!

SkyHive is working with the government to quickly find personnel crucial to the COVID-19 response, providing displaced workers with skills-based upskilling and employment placement, and supporting companies with an agile workforce plan that adapts to the dynamic challenges COVID-19 is presenting. SkyHive is actively hiring for more than 10 positions across Customer Service, Data Science, Software Engineering, Marketing, and Operations to help those whose jobs are imperilled by the current situation. Spread the word and refer someone you know: http://skyhive.io/careers

WBM is working to support their healthcare and public sector customers, as well as enterprises across the west, transitioning thousands of workers to remote work scenarios using technologies; has been working with their customers to pull tech requirements forward, and insulating them from shortages of much needed technology in moving to work from home scenarios.   Finally, WBM is providing live, on demand support to those struggling with technology in work from home situations.

Thank you and we’ll share more info next week!