"Canada is well positioned to play a larger role in the global economy," according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on news of the Technology Center Thomson Reuters is creating in Toronto.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler about leveraging Canada’s technology assets at the new Thomson Reuters Toronto Technology Center, creating job opportunities for the middle class, energy efficiency and a more globally connected country.
Thomson Reuters, one of Canada’s leading international companies and well-respected brands, will strengthen its roots in the country and leverage the region’s burgeoning technology talent, expanding on the Thomson Reuters Labs established in Waterloo in 2015.
“Our new Technology Centre furthers our commitment to growing Canada’s preeminent hub of innovation, and to building the customer-centric platforms and solutions of the future,” said Jim Smith, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters.
Mr. Trudeau underscored the significance of the initiative, saying “Today’s news is an example of how great things can happen when the public and private spheres work together – for the betterment of Canadian workers, and Canadian families.”
Investing in the middle class
The new technology center will create jobs and opportunities for Canada’s middle class, developing global leaders and platforms that reflect the diversity and skill of the region, according to Mr. Trudeau. Fifteen hundred new positions are to be created in cognitive computing, visualization, user experience and cloud development, 400 of which will be filled over the next two years, per the Thomson Reuters announcement.
Trudeau also promoted the need for Canadians to become more powerful users of technology, starting with more ubiquitous access to high-speed broadband. “Canada is well positioned to play a larger role in the global economy.”
He stressed the importance of making technology a core component of the education curriculum and shared his hope of having “all kids learn to code.”
Energy and natural resources
Given Canada’s geographic composition and abundance of natural resources, Trudeau underscored the need to transition from a fossil-fuel-based economy to one that is a leader in energy efficiency and clean water and air.
Canada was and is a proponent of the Paris Agreement and Canadians recognize the need to shift the sources of energy for our planet. Trudeau’s view is to let local jurisdictions manage how their areas implement this transition. He called out that “85 percent of Canadian provinces have already put a price on carbon.”
Trade and isolationism
There have been definite benefits for Canadian employers and employees as a result of trade agreements like NAFTA, according to Trudeau, despite ripples of anger felt by middle class Canadians who aren’t recognizing them.
Trudeau’s solution to ensure more Canadians experience such benefits is to raise taxes on the wealthy and lower them for the middle class, in addition to investing in infrastructure improvements.
Productivity increases will result from infrastructure investments, although he was clear that it is not the federal government’s role to decide how to connect Canadian communities, but rather that of local jurisdictions in leading these advancements.
“We can’t turn back the clock on globalization, nor should we, but we need to make sure we’re advancing all,” said Trudeau. “Insularity is not a path to the bigger world.”