Canada’s technology sector — which has contributed greatly to Canada’s strong economy and provides high-paying jobs for workers across the country — is at risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. The tech industry contributes massively to Canada’s GDP, driving 17 percent of the GDP and 11 percent of national employment. These jobs should lay the foundation of the Canadian economy for the next decade or more.
Although the sector is strong right now, tech leaders are growing increasingly concerned that recovery from the pandemic will take longer than a few weeks. Over the next 12 to 18 months many promising new ventures that are tackling everything from climate change to cancer treatment may be forced to close their doors. The pinch is already happening as supply lines are being disrupted and consumer spending slows.
Canadian tech leaders believe the ecosystem needs the government to lead the way in creating both immediate and longer-term measures that will bridge them through the next year. That’s why today, more than 200 tech-company CEOs have sent a letter to the federal government urging governments to join together to support these companies in the coming months, through swift, targeted measures that would improve cash flow and their ability to keep millions of Canadians employed.
Tech CEOs know that the measures they are calling for won’t save every company and every job. Rather, their objective is to help some of Canada’s best and brightest and most promising high-growth companies emerge from this crisis. If we can preserve some of the gains we have made, those same companies will help lead the recovery and drive Canadian leadership in the economy of the future.