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Many people in the tech industry are choosing to move to Canada over the US because of the US' restrictive immigration laws.
Since 2013, Toronto has added more tech jobs than any other place in North America, including Silicon Valley.
25% of Canada's overall workforce are immigrants, and in the tech space that number is even higher — 40%.
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Silicon Valley's reputation as the world's leading tech hub could be in jeopardy because of the United States' restrictive immigration laws.
Tens of thousands of immigrant tech workers have flocked to Toronto in the past few years, making it the fastest growing tech hub in North America.
Many of them are deliberately avoiding the US as the Trump administration clamps down on immigration. In June, President Donald Trump temporarily suspended visas known as H-1B visas, which are awarded to thousands of skilled immigrant workers each year.
The visa suspension is prompting some immigrants, like former Silicon Valley product manager Asim Fayaz, to move north to Canada.
"There is a whole world out there, and you are probably better off going somewhere else because you'd be treated more human," said Fayaz, a Pakistani immigrant who now runs an online restaurant business in Toronto. "You don't need to be, like, pleading for your existence all the time."
Every year, the US government reserves 85,000 H-1B visas for skilled foreign professionals — people like Elon Musk, who was born in South Africa and started companies such as Tesla and SpaceX in the US.
Fayaz came to the US to attend the University of California, and landed a job after graduating with a master's degree in 2016. As an immigrant, trying to find work in the US was tough — he needed an American employer to not just hire him, but also sponsor his H-1B work visa.
This year, immigration laws suddenly changed as Trump suspended the program, citing "an unusual threat to the employment of American workers" during the coronavirus pandemic. The move left thousands in limbo.
But while the US is closing doors, Canada has been rolling out the welcome mat. Since 2013, the number of tech jobs in Toronto has skyrocketed from about 148,000 to 228,000, an increase of 54%.
"We have over 100,000 people immigrate to the Toronto region each year, which is twice as many as San Francisco Bay Area," Jason Goldlist, cofounder of TechToronto, said. And we don't just attract the quantity. It's also quality because a fifth of these immigrants already have a STEM degree before they even arrive here.
Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify is trying to capitalize on the opportunity. Following Trump's announcement, CEO Tobias Lutke — himself an immigrant from Germany — tweeted, "If this affects your plans consider coming to Canada instead."
Sandeep Anand, the company's senior mobility lead, echoed Lutke's call for talent: "Whether they're already in Canada, whether they're globally present, we're looking to really expand our diverse workforce. And in some cases it does mean that we would need to relocate and provide immigration support, which we're happy to do," she told Business Insider Today.
According to a 2016 study, 25% of Canada's workforce are immigrants. And in the tech space, that number is even higher — 40%, or 350,000 workers.
And there's still room for more, says Ilya Brotzky, the founder & CEO of VanHack, a Canadian firm that helps place global talent in tech jobs across North America. Brotzky cited Canada's 3% unemployment rate in the tech sector, well below its overall unemployment rate.
"It's not like there's a bunch of Canadians waiting to take these jobs," Brotzky said. "The unemployment rate is really, really low. We can't find the people."
Brotzky argues it makes economic sense for US companies to open offices in Canada, as well.
"You have these people that can basically work in the same time zone, quick flight from you, really easy laws, super fast to set up, and you have the benefit of Canadian dollar salaries," he told Business Insider Today. "But more importantly, you have access to the global talent pool. So you can bring in any developer from around the world that's good."
That's why Canada is trying to attract highly skilled foreign professionals through visa programs like the Global Talent Stream, launched in 2017. Immigration experts say it is like the H-1B program, but a lot better.
"It's a very fast processing time. It takes anywhere from roughly around two weeks to complete the first stage. And then the second stage, which is the work permit stage. It takes another two weeks. So you could be in Canada as quickly as a month," Blayne Kumar, founder of the immigration services company Bright Immigration, said.
For Fayaz, the decision to move from the US to Canada came after he was laid off from his Silicon Valley company, when he and his wife became fed up with constantly worrying about their legal status.
"It's not even like in 10 years, I will get it," he said. "It's like maybe, maybe not. Who knows, who cares. We don't need you in this country."
And the recent suspension of the H-1B visa program only confirmed his worst fears.
"You know that scene in movies where the actor is leaving the scene and the world is blowing up behind you, right? I feel like that — that I kind of managed to exit the scene somehow, magically," he said. "And I look back and the US is just blowing up."
"So many of my friends, people that I worked with, went to school with, they're all impacted. And whenever I get a phone call, I just feel so sorry for all those people."SEE ALSO: Canada is way ahead in sRemote work could accelerate the tech industry's migration to Canada, where affordable costs of living and more open immigration policies are helping create tech hubs to rival Silicon Valleycooping up tech talent from the US
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Back in 2003, Elon Musk test drove a tiny, yellow electric car called a tZero. While Musk didn't know it then, the tZero would directly lead to him becoming CEO of Tesla.
Musk was impressed with the car and lobbied unsuccessfully to get the leaders of the company that made the tZero, AC Propulsion, to commercialize it.
They declined, but introduced him to a group who was looking to collaborate on an electric car startup: Tesla Motors' Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.
The tZero led the way for Tesla's first car, the Roadster, which hit the market in 2008.
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It's hard to remember a time when "Elon Musk" and "electric cars" didn't go hand-in-hand.
But back in the early 2000s, the dream of mass-market electric cars with long range and rapid acceleration was still a long way off for Musk, who had already cofounded and sold Zip2 and PayPal and was working on SpaceX. That changed with a fateful test drive in 2003.
At the behest of the person who would go on to become Tesla's first chief technology officer, JB Straubel, Musk took a ride in AC Propulsion's tZero, a tiny electric car that was built as a prototype. Musk was so wowed by the car he tried to get the company to commercialize it — it didn't want to, which in part led to the birth of Tesla.
Musk described driving the tZero and the events the followed on the Third Row Tesla podcast in February, which was spotted by CNBC's Taylor Locke.
Here's how the tZero led the way in electric cars, sparked Elon Musk's interest, and inspired the Tesla Roadster.SEE ALSO: 'Antennagate' just turned 10. Here's how the iPhone 4's antenna issues became one of Apple's biggest scandals of all time.
The tZero was designed by a company called AC Propulsion, which in the early 2000s, was run by cofounder Alan Cocconi and CEO Tom Gage. AC Propulsion wasn't an electric carmaker — it worked with car manufacturers to produce electric vehicle drive systems.
Source: Clean Technica
The tZero was a prototype vehicle built by hand in 1997. The body and the chassis of the vehicle were based on a kit car called the Piontek Sportech. The car was estimated to cost $220,000.
Source: Car and Driver
The tZero ran on lithium-ion battery cells, which — thanks to their light weight — made the car surprisingly fast: it reportedly went from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds. The tZero also had a range of more than 200 miles.
Source: Car and Driver, Wired
While the tZero had an outwardly stylish design, its interior was described as "Spartan."
A Forbes article from 2003 described the interior of the vehicle as "like a science project":
"... most of the controls apart from the CD player are gadgets to monitor the battery and tiny 110-lb. motor. Drivers get an analog current meter, voltmeter, altimeter, and battery-voltage display with LED lights that measures temperature and charging limits.
Remember, though, this is more of an experiment than a traditionally appointed car. The tZero does not come with air-conditioning. And to lower its top and windows, you detach them and store them in the trunk."
Only three tZeros were ever produced, and there is reportedly only one left in existence. One of the vehicles was incinerated in a garage fire in 2017, and it's not clear what happened to the third.
Elon Musk came into the picture in 2003 after he was encourage to test drive a tZero.
Shortly after founding SpaceX, Musk was having lunch with satellite pioneer Harold Rosen and JB Straubel, who went on to become Tesla's chief technology officer. Straubel suggested they take a ride in a tZero and Musk agreed.
"It literally didn't have doors or a roof, or any airbags, or an effective cooling system for the battery and it was not safe and was very unreliable," Musk on the Third Row Tesla podcast in February. "It needed to be babied by an engineer or ... you couldn't use it."
Still, Musk was excited about the concept and tried to convince Cocconi and Gage to commercialize the car.
"I really pestered them a lot to commercialize the tZero, and they just did not want to do it," Musk said.
Musk said he asked the team, "If you're not going to commercialize the tZero, do you mind if I do it?" The team said yes, and introduced Musk to another group looking to do the same: Tesla Motors' Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.
In 2004, Musk invested $6.3 million in Tesla. For the next four years, the company worked on its first car, the Tesla Roadster.
While the Roadster ended up only slightly resembling the tZero, it carried the DNA of the prototype car: it had the first lithium ion battery in a vehicle put into production, could go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and had a range of up to 300 miles.
The company sold around 2,500 Roadsters in total — by the time Tesla retired the car, it cost $150,000.
Musk has since said that without the tZero, "Tesla wouldn't exist."
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1071840664562786304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Major credit to AC Propulsion for the tzero electric sports car 1997-2003 that inspired Tesla Roadster. Without that, Tesla wouldn't exist or would have started much later. pic.twitter.com/NxCgYO9JXx
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Boris Johnson is once again in a bit of a flap after his attempt to impose his “preferred candidate” to head the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was defeated in a coup from within his own party.Backbench MP Julian Lewis demonstrated in spectacular fashion that he will not pander to will of the PM as he landed a role which gives him oversight of Britain’s intelligence agencies.The immediate loser was Johnson’s pick for the role, Chris “Failing” Grayling, but the ramifications for the PM could potentially mean he has more to lose in the long term.What happened?In short, Johnson wanted Grayling in the top job and Tory whips told its members on the ISC to vote for him.Lewis considered this an “improper request” and voted for himself instead. The government then expelled him from the parliamentary Conservative Party because he had been “working with Labour and other opposition MPs for his own advantage”.Why is the government so upset?Although it’s not been publicly acknowledged, it’s widely believed the government was very keen to keep a secret report examining Russian influence in British politics well, secret.Dr Julian Lewis is a Russia hawk and no government pushover - so under his chairmanship I could well imagine the long-awaited #RussiaReport being released before parliament breaks for the summer next week— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah) July 15, 2020And less than 24 hours after Lewis landed the job, the ISC announced it would be made public next week.So what exactly is all the fuss about?The report in question is by the ISC, which oversees the work of the UK’s intelligences agencies such as MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.It was tasked with examining possible Russian influence into the UK democratic process, particularly the EU referendum and 2017 General Election.Why was the Russia report commissioned?Russian interference into the US presidential election of 2016 is well-documented and Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation even indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies on charges related to attempt to influence the vote.As a result, the UK government thought it proper to establish if similar had occurred in public votes in Britain.And did it?We don’t know – the report was submitted to the government before publication to ensure no sensitive information is inadvertently made public.Although vetting is standard procedure for such documents, a row has broken out over how long the process should take.Dominic Grieve, the former committee chair, said last year the report was sent to the prime minister for approval on October 17. The former attorney said the process was normally completed within 10 working days and accused the government of “sitting on the report”.However, the timescale was disputed by government sources who said that it usually took six weeks.Yet that was over seven months ago and it is still not public.Why would the government delay the publication?Last year critics argued the Conservative government was stalling because it contains information that could have damaged the party ahead of the General Election.Now that time has passed, critics are simply assuming it has still not been released because it is very embarrassing for the government.And is it?We don’t know yet although there have been some possible clues.The Sunday Times claimed last year that nine Russian business people who gave money to the Tory Party are named in the report in what is the first major leak from the publication.This is very different from the kind of interference seen during the US presidential election but would obviously be hugely embarrassing for Boris Johnson and his government.The Sunday Times claims Alexander Temerko, who formerly worked for the Kremlin’s defence ministry, is named after donating more than £1.2m to the party and describing Boris Johnson as a “friend”.Meanwhile, major Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin, wife of former Vladimir Putin ally Vladimir Chernukhin, is also said to be included in the report.Chernukin has handed the party over £450,000 in the past 12 months, and famously paid £160,000 during a Conservative fund raising event to play a tennis match with Johnson.When do we find out what’s in it?On Thursday morning it was announced the long-awaited report would be published by next Wednesday after the first sitting of the ISC under the leadership of Lewis.A spokesperson for the ISC said: “The committee has unanimously agreed this morning that it will publish the report on Russia prepared by its predecessor before the house rises for the summer recess.“There will be no further comment.” Related...
Russian Interference Report To Be Published Within Next Week
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