Global Skills Strategy Event
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, PC, MP
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
March 9, 2017
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Thank you very much, Ben [Benjamin Bergen, Executive Director, Council of Canadian Innovators].
I am glad to see a representative from the Council of Canadian Innovators with us today. We appreciate the leadership shown by the members of your organization in spearheading this initiative.
It really is a pleasure to be here with my colleague Minister Hajdu.
Thank you also to Ron [Ron Glibbery, President and CEO, Peraso Technologies] and Peraso for hosting us today. This is a great facility you have here.
Toronto is a fitting location to talk about our Global Skills Strategy.
The depth and breadth of talent here is second to none.
The Toronto region is a major contributor to Canada's economy.
It generates 20 percent of Canada's gross domestic product.
And the region is home to 40 percent of the country's business headquarters—companies like Peraso Technologies.
With the leadership of its CEO Ron Glibbery, the company is a prime example of an innovative Canadian business.
Peraso is developing world-leading wireless technology with its Wireless Gigabit chipsets.
And it is doing it all here in Canada.
I have had the opportunity to speak to many CEOs and heads of Canadian companies—people like Ron—who have told me that talent and skill know no boundaries and that embracing diversity drives innovation.
Canada is in a global innovation race.
We are competing with countries around the world for the most talented people, the newest technologies and the fastest-growing companies.
A key competitive edge for countries and businesses is the distinctive talent and creativity of their people.
Talent is truly our competitive advantage.
That's why Microsoft and Google have recently invested in Canadian artificial-intelligence start-ups.
That's why General Motors is hiring 1,000 engineers here in the GTA to expand its software research into self-driving cars.
And that's why Shopify, an e-commerce company, had the most oversubscribed initial public offering of 2015.
When companies look to invest, they aren't always looking for the lowest-cost jurisdictions.
Instead, companies seek the most innovative economies, the ones with the most creative and entrepreneurial people who can turn ideas into solutions.
That's why we need to make Canada a destination of choice for the best and brightest from around the world.
The Global Skills Strategy will make it easier for Canadian companies to recruit highly trained people with in-demand skills.
And that's why our government is implementing this kind of strategy.
We know that bringing in top talent from around the world actually creates more jobs for Canadians.
One key hire can unlock many others. This critical mass of talent enables the start-up of new companies and the scale-up of others, which create more jobs for Canadians.
I am happy to announce that starting on June 12, 2017, we are launching the Global Talent Stream, an integral pillar of the Global Skills Strategy.
Our Global Skills Strategy targets a two-week standard for processing visas and a two-week standard for processing work permit applications for low-risk, high-skill talent coming to Canada.
I'm proud that our government has listened to the concerns of the Canadian business community.
Tapping into a large pool of highly trained people, both in Canada and abroad, will position this country as a global innovation leader.
It will enable high-growth Canadian companies to develop more quickly into globally competitive successes.
That's a key part of the Innovation Agenda, our government's plan to create good quality, high-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
That's because innovation depends on good ideas, and those ideas can come from anywhere and anyone.
The more we can create those good ideas, the more we can foster innovation and, ultimately, create and maintain good middle-class jobs.
And that's really what the Global Skills Strategy—and the Innovation Agenda—is all about.
I will now hand the podium over to my colleague Minister Hajdu to tell you more about the Global Talent Stream.
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