Canada has a "wealth creation problem" warn 100 top tech CEOs

A group has organized an open letter to political leaders urging economy-boosting policies

Canada has a "wealth creation problem" warn 100 top tech CEOs
Steve Randall

Canada’s next government needs to address issues that are holding back innovation and growth according to some of the country’s top business people.

In an open letter to the leaders of the main political parties, the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) said political leaders should release economic strategies this election that “advance innovative domestic companies by increasing their access to skilled talent, strategic capital and new customers, both in Canada and around the world.”

The letter, published at the weekend, was signed by more than 110 technology CEOs and calls for policies that address the challenge of wealth creation and lagging productivity.

“Canada doesn’t have a start-up problem, it has a scale-up problem, and therefore it has a wealth creation problem” says Benjamin Bergen, executive director of CCI. “When less than one percent of Canadian firms ever scale beyond 500 employees, it’s clear Canada needs an updated economic strategy that enables domestic innovators to rapidly scale globally in the 21st century economy. Without such a plan, Canada’s national prosperity is at risk.”

The group of chief executives also want the parties to set out clear policies to manage Canada’s digital economy and develop of national data strategy to address the economic and non-economic effects of the data-driven economy.

“Canadian innovators have long called on the federal government to develop a national strategy that recognizes data as the most valuable asset in today’s economy and develops legislative and regulatory frameworks that allow Canadian businesses to grow and scale in the global data-driven economy,” says Bergen.