Policy & Advocacy

The CVCA Responds to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Executive Order

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The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) is adding its voice to the growing list of Canadian technology leaders calling on Ottawa to institute an immediate and targeted visa which would provide those currently displaced by the United States executive order with temporary residency in Canada. The request is in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s concerning and discriminatory executive order banning entry to the United States for citizens of seven countries.

The visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose. In the open letter posted to BetaKit Sunday, the Canadian technology community is also encouraging provincial and municipal governments across Canada to lend support as they can.

The CVCA is also encouraging those who are directly impacted by these recent changes to contact the association if they need assistance. Should some wish to stay and work in our diverse ecosystem, the association would be pleased to provide information about the Canadian technology community.

Diversity is our strength and an increasingly distinct Canadian advantage and that is why the CVCA has repeatedly called for enhanced VISA process for Canadian technology,” said Mike Woollatt, CEO of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. However, this action calls for quicker action and compassion as we try and help those affected by this unfortunate policy. Technology knows no borders.”

Sarah Marion, Analyst atiNovia Capital, and co-author of Lazaridis Institute’s Scaling Success: Tackling the Management Gap in Canada’s Technology Sector,spoke to the CVCA about the executive order and touched on her research.

Marion says while at the Lazaridis Institute, she spoke with 125 Canadian tech leaders, 53 per cent of whom indicated that the primary inhibitor to scaling up was a shortage of experienced management and/​or executive talent, specifically within sales, marketing, organizational design and product management.

She adds, The knowledge economy, and the tech sector in particular, is a key driver of Canada’s economic growth.”

Marion also opened up about the Canadian technology sector’s reaction to the executive order this weekend.

I was extremely proud to watch the Canadian tech sector come together over the weekend to speak out against President Trump’s executive order, and encourage Ottawa to meaningfully help those that are displaced by the executive order. Canadian tech leaders understand the power of diversity, inclusion and pluralism.”

About the potential advantages the Canadian ecosystem could see, Marion spoke emphatically about inclusion.

Standing in unified opposition to any laws that undermine and attack inclusion is the right thing to do — the benefit to our tech ecosystem is a secondary consideration. Canadians have built a strong tech ecosystem by embracing diversity, and will continue to include all nationalities and religions. Many Canadian tech companies have satellite offices in the US and are negatively impacted by President Trump’s executive order. However, we have an opportunity to do what’s right and embrace displaced individuals, who are hardworking, intelligent, highly contributing members of society.”

The CVCA encourages anyone wishing to add their voice to the Canadian technology community’s response to the U.S. immigration order by adding their name to the open letterposted here.