A victory for Donald Trump could be a victory for Alberta and Canada if we move quickly and strategically. While we have no certainty what President Trump will actually do – if we take him at his word – there are opportunities for our province and country.
The key take away for Alberta, and indeed Canada, is America’s borders will thicken.
It will become much harder for talented people to work in the U.S. and even more challenging for talented non-Americans living in the U.S. to stay. Couple with the fact that the highest growth businesses in the U.S. are in a constant and competitive search for global talent. Therefore, the ability of these firms to grow will be adversely affected.
Canada, on the other hand, is enhancing and encouraging immigration of the very talent the U.S. will be excluding. So, the initiative of attracting business to Alberta, should be accelerated.
We need to target businesses, such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Uber, and dozens of other high growth firms in agri-food, healthcare, and clean-tech who rely on a flow of global talent. We must put out Canada’s welcome mat.
Interestingly, just last week I was talking about this “war for talent” with a senior executive of one of America’s largest companies. He said it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to recruit the top talent they needed– and he asked – “how could Canada help?”
Canada and Alberta can help this senior executive and more importantly ourselves by urging businesses to locate in whole, or in part, here. We have the talent required and the environment for people and businesses to thrive.
On the national level, Canada’s government should be aggressively pursuing trade deals with Pacific Rim nations. If trade pacts are dead in a Trump Administration, let Canada move to secure these deals to become the North American portal for goods and services.
Donald Trump likes to say, “if you’re going to be thinking … you might as well think big.” Let’s think how we can prosper in a big way. New Canadians and businesses are already a national blessing, let’s build on this and aggressively reach out to those who may not make it through a thicker American border.