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by Daniel Gloade on October 22, 2013

When I was in high school, I often heard lectures from economics and history teachers that Canada was a rural, provincial country that could not compete with the rest of the world. Harold Innis famously declared that Canada was a nation of nation of “hewers of wood, and drawers of water”. We would often hear anecdotes of how a business would want to start in Canada but was unable to do so due to bureaucratic folly or local ignorance.  If you wanted “to make it big” one had to go south of the border.

It is therefore nice to read about how Canada is making itself more competitive and friendly for business.  There was an interesting story in The Record on Saturday.  You can find it at  In essence, one of the founders of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, praised Canada.  Mr. Ohanian found our system of issuing work visas on the grounds of possessing unique skills was preferable to the strict visa requirements in the United States.  The Government of Canada has placed large, two-page ads in newspapers and trade papers in the American Silicon Valley that invite the readers to open start-ups in Canada.  It boasts that it is easier for Canadian Start-ups to draw uniquely qualified individuals from anywhere in the world.

On a more local level, the University of Waterloo has just opened its Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS).  It will allow companies to test experimental wireless technology.  Start-up companies in wireless technology will be enticed to open Start-ups close to where its devices can be tested.  It goes without saying that it is likely that many companies will wish to use new wireless technologies.

It would appear that Canada is doing several things right when it comes to international competition.  The question remains, however, whether it will be enough it today’s global economy.

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