Is Canada fine with being the world’s tech branch plant? (CanCon ep. 132)

Justin Trudeau at Google

So North America has a ‘new NAFTA’, named USMCA (pronounced ‘you-smacka’, courtesy Paul Wells). While our Liberal government is celebrating a successful negotiation with the horse in the hospital, Canada’s tech community is ‘fuming’ over IP concessions.

But this CanCon podcast isn’t just about a supposed IP imbalance (thank the podcasting gods). What has Jim Balsillie, Sean Silcoff, Ben Bergen (and others!) offering stern rebukes in the pages of The Globe and Mail? It’s really a three-sided coin, involving IP, the escalating presence of global tech giants in Canada and their capacity to suck up talent, and government-funded support for Canadian companies ‘nearshoring’ our remaining talent at a hefty markup.

So, everybody’s yelling, but they’re not yelling about the same thing. In fact, most of Canada’s tech community is yelling at each other. Maybe that’s a sign of a multitude of problems, or maybe it’s a sign of an ecosystem growing beyond its comfort zone.

We discuss each side of the coin on this week’s CanCon podcast. Enjoy!

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Trust us, it’s a three-sided coin
Canada ‘caved’ on intellectual property provisions in USMCA trade deal, experts say
Shopify founder warns about the dangers of U.S. tech giants setting up shop in Canada
Government-backed tech startup in Calgary to help Silicon Valley’s access to Canadian talent
Globe editorial: Why are Canadian governments funding American tech innovation?
Globe editorial: Why are Canadian governments funding American tech innovation?

Canadian Content music clip (under fair dealing): “Valley Boy” by Wolf Parade
Ad music: “Dreams” by Joakim Karud

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.