Yesterday, after a 78-day campaign, Canadians voted to unseat incumbent Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper in favour of a Liberal majority government.
The election campaign — the longest since 1872 — wasn’t without its highlights, including participation from Canadian startups. Notably, Canadian tech leaders including John Ruffalo and Tobi Lutke stepped up to challenge an NDP plan to tax all stock options, rather than just 50 percent under current regulations. Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes was also vocal in his opposition to the plan, and eventually, NDP leader Tom Mulcair himself sent a letter to Holmes and Lutke saying that their tax plan would exclude options granted by early stage companies.
Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity, recently dropped into the BNN studio to talk about Canada’s startup sector and its role in the election. “I think it’s pretty frothy right now,” said Kirkup when asked to describe the startup environment across Canada. “There’s a lot of people who are getting engaged in startups, and even during the election campaign, it was exciting to see the impact and awareness that the startup ecosystem has here in Canada.”
Kirkup argued for a strong startup ecosystem in Canada, and emphasized that the next federal government should focus on tax treatment when it comes to startups. “One of the biggest challenges for our angel investing segment, which is a very crucial part of getting startups off the ground, are primarily around tax treatment,” he said.
Watch the full video below: