As mayor, I am often asked what the key ingredients are that make Markham one of the most vibrant and successful municipalities in Canada. The answer is simple. Diversity is Markham's strength. Professionals, business executives, retail operators and skilled trades persons come to our city from all over the world.
We're conditioned to act like we don't need sleep or weekends, only fleeting validation for that campaign that just hit market and a swig from the company whiskey bottle. I had never much subscribed to the notion of Toronto's permeating anxiety, however, until I returned from a much-needed trip over this past holiday break.
Under privacy by design, technology companies must account for human values when creating their systems and ensure they have engineered for maximum individual privacy in every step of their process. It's a costly and time-consuming measure, but it's one of the only measures standing in the way of a digital Wild West.
With an energetic and vibrant atmosphere it's no surprise that Victoria, B.C. is one of the world's favourite destinations. As I was soon to learn, that energy is here in the technology business, too. It has been hidden away a little, obscured by its modesty, and I do actually think that there is something really special worth shouting about over here.
With each startup event that happens throughout the year, we are standing a little taller as a community, being a little more innovative and getting back to the business of hard work. That's the defining factor: When things don't come easy, we work harder. For me, that's the startup culture in Vancouver.
Over the past few months there's been a lot of conversation about whether women are getting a fair shake in Silicon Valley. It's fantastic that there's so much focus on gender equality, but most of the discussion bypasses the fact that we still need to get more women to even try to succeed in technology.
In Canada, we like to play it safe and for the most part, it's paid off. Tight regulations and the centralization of banking powers helped us weather the economic storm of 2008. But we're a different Canada now. Canada's potential is remarkable, we need to believe in that potential and invest in its development before looking elsewhere for inspiration. It's all right here.
When it comes to technology, most of us only take action when something goes wrong. We are in the habit of only fix technology when it breaks, as opposed to planning for problems or taking proactive steps to prevent them. When something does break, it catches us off guard, and is usually accompanied by frustration and stress.