An Open Letter from the Canadian Tech Community: Diversity is our Strength

TECH WITHOUT BORDERS·SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2017

TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian tech community wrote an open letter to the world, responding to the executive order that bans travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days into the United States. Over 150 leaders in the tech community signed the following letter including senior leaders at Shopify, Google, Facebook and tech incubators like DMZ, MaRS and Communitech (those wishing to add their names to the list may email: cdntechwithoutborders@gmail.com).

The Canadian tech community comprises many different nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, mental and physical abilities, and perspectives. We believe that this diversity is a source of strength and opportunity.

On this topic, we are united.

Canadian tech companies understand the power of inclusion and diversity of thought, and that talent and skill know no borders. In choosing to hire, train, and mentor the best people in the world, we can build global companies that grow our economy. By embracing diversity, we can drive innovation to benefit the world.

The 21st century will be driven by pluralistic economies powered by pluralistic societies.

This is a belief founded upon personal experience for many in our community. Many Canadian tech entrepreneurs are immigrants, are the children of immigrants, employ and have been employed by immigrants.

As connected economies, decisions by the United States can directly impact every business north of the border. The recently signed Executive Order to block entry of citizens from seven countries has already impacted several in our community. As a community, we are all affected.

As a community, we stand together in opposition to the marginalization of people based upon their race or religion.

The Canadian tech community supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's message that Canada will and must remain inclusive to all nationalities.

We also stand directly opposed to any and all laws that undermine or attack inclusion, and call on Prime Minister Trudeau and our political leaders to do the same.

The Canadian tech community also calls on the Canadian federal government to institute an immediate and targeted visa providing those currently displaced by the US Executive Order with temporary residency in Canada. This 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.

Diversity is our strength. We as Canadians recognize our privilege as a prosperous nation. We believe providing refuge to people seeking safety should remain our compass.

In the hours following the US decision, many members of our community have privately shared personal stories of their immigrant experience. We ask them now to share those stories publicly so they may be amplified.

SOURCE The Canadian Tech Community

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2017/29/c1675.html

For further information: Media Inquiries: Jennifer Moss, jen@plasticitylabs.com, 226-989-6678

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