"I will not go to
Also stymied by the American immigration system — which meets only a fraction of the demand for economic green cards each year — was South African
Their struggle to obtain entry for employment epitomizes how stalled immigration reforms in
Ultimately, the two Facebook hires were separately convinced to give
"One of the reasons (Facebook) does well in
Facebook installed its downtown base for new engineering hires in
Facebook said the employment of up to 150 staff in
A protracted political battle around overhauling U.S. immigration laws has included
"This same immigration issue plays an important role in many other companies' decisions to open international offices," said a Facebook spokeswoman, who declined to be named. "
The federal government is aware of the issue and will "make no bones" about exploiting it to boost the domestic economy, said the federal employment minister.
"We're seeking very deliberately to benefit from the dysfunctional American immigration system,"
Offering permanent residency, the Canadian government launched a special "start-up visa" last year to facilitate the arrival of young entrepreneurs, and will open another stream this January.
The American obstacle is just one among a suite of competitive advantages helping transform
The province boasts lower corporate tax rates than the U.S., as well as enticing personal income tax rates. A wealth of skilled workers already funnel into the city via top-rated post-secondary institutions, feeding already flourishing companies. And the glistening city of glass towers, green spaces and waterfront has been cited amongst the world's most livable.
"One of those arrows on its own probably doesn't do a lot for us, but when you pile them on top of each other, it's a pretty compelling story," McKay said.
B.C. boasts more than 600 digital media companies, employing about 16,000 people and generating
The developing critical mass is also evidenced by business incubators, such as GrowLab, a range of tech-wizard social gatherings and massive job fairs. Starting Sunday, SIGGRAPH, a prestigious computer graphics research forum with exhibitors from 60 countries will be held for five days at
Motivated in large part by tax rebates,
"When we talk about the potential for Silicon Valley North, a lot of the pieces to that story are already here," he said, though noting players are still getting acquainted.
"We're messaging out around the world ... that if you want some stability in your passionate work environment,
But the road to Silicon Valley North is not all paved in gold.
Last year, hundreds of jobs evaporated when Disney shuttered Pixar Canada's
A panel discussion that took a hard look at the challenges was hosted by social media platform Hootsuite in late July.
Holmes remains optimistic about the local industry's future.
"In a few years' time,
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