Netflix to Open Canadian Office, Invest Half a Billion Into Content

Netflix has finally caved in and decided if you can not beat them, join them. Melanie Joly, Canadian Heritage Minister, has made an announcement this morning, that Netflix will be coming to Canada with a lot of cash.

jgryntysz / Pixabay

The deal is for Netflix to open an office in Canada, and invest $500m into Canadian content production over 5 years. This way Canadian government will not tax Netflix. However Canadian government said that if Netflix does not end up investing the whole amount, they will impose fines on the media giant.

Melanie Joly said:

“We want them to participate in our goals to support the creation and discovery of Canadian content that showcases our talent, our cultures and our stories. I’m pushing for commitments that benefit our industries. Our approach will not be to bail out industry models that are no longer viable. Rather, we will focus our efforts on supporting innovation, experimentation and transition to digital.”

Joly also mentioned that Facebook and Google will help fund some media programs at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Not everyone was happy with this investment by Netflix though. Nicolas Marceau, Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for Rousseau, has said that Canadian government is taking hand outs instead of taxing the Internet companies like Netflix and Google.

8 Montreal AI Companies Looking To Hire Now

Montreal is quickly becoming AI center in North America with all the hype of Facebook opening their AI office in Montreal recently.

But in case you can not get job with Facebook in Montreal but really want to get into artificial intelligence and big data – where do you look? Do not worry – we got you covered.

Eight Montreal Artificial Intelligence Companies Hiring Right Now

 

GOOGLE

No explanation needed who and what kind of company Google is. They recently open software division in Montreal and are now looking for various AI scientist / data specialists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Google at their Montreal office 

MICROSOFT

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@ The Montreal Microsoft Office.

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Microsoft also needs no introduction. They are looking for positions like Principal Solution Specialist Data & AI.

« Microsoft is excited to engage with faculties, students and the broader tech community in Montreal, which is becoming a global hub for AI research and innovation. »

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Microsoft at their Montreal office 

AUTOMAT

Conversational Marketing for Brands. They are looking for AI research specialists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Automat at their Montreal office 

ELEMENT AI

AI company who recently broke the record for most money raised in the AI industry ($140m to exact), they now have enough money to pay your salary. They are hiring various AI developers and researchers.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Element AI at their Montreal office 

FLUENT.AI

Building personalized and noise-robust voice user interfaces. They are looking for Machine Learning Scientists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Fluent AI at their Montreal office 

IMAGIA

To serve patients and our customers by dramatically improving accessible personalized medicine driven by advances in AI. Imagia has been naped top AI healthcare startup companies in the world.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Imagia at their Montreal office 

NUANCE

Speech recognition company. They are looking for Research Scientists.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Nuance at their Montreal office 

 

SPORTLOGIQUE

Provider of advanced analytics data for professional hockey teams and broadcast media. They are looking for computer vision researchers as well as developers with passion for hockey of course.

See open tech AI jobs opportunities at Sportlogique at their Montreal office 

9 Changes To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Standout

LinkedIn has quickly became #1 tool in Canada and the US where recruiters go to search for candidates whether it is for internal position or agency recruiters go to search for their external clients.

Here are several ways to improve your LinkedIn profile to get more exposure , more interviews, more offers, and in turn more competitive salary offers. You can buy us beer ummm I mean thank us later.

Incomplete Profile – Big No No

If you have LinkedIn profile that does not outline your employment history, that is a big no no. Recruiters do not know if you will be a good match, and therefore will skip your profile and go down the list of other 2,391 matches they are going through.

Professional Profile Photo

Please do not post picture of you partying or hangover or whatever. Wear business casual shirt / pants and take a picture. It will go a long way.

Your Connections

It is always a good idea to be connected with few hundred or more connections. Having no connections send bad signal to recruiter that you are not even trying.

Resume = LinkedIn Profile

Once in a while we get a candidate whose resume is different from his LinkedIn profile. It does not matter your reason for it – always have your resume = linkedin profile. This will most likely red flag you in the eyes of even junior recruiters.

Just Say It

Yeah, we get it – you went to Thailand for few years, before you backpacked in Australia. But common, keep your summary short and professional , and of course to the point. There is no need for an essay on your LinkedIn profile.

Headline = Money Maker

When recruiters search for candidates they only see headline and your title, and the company you are working at. We need to click on it to open up your full profile. So take advantage of that, do not just say IT Die Hard Ninja – but be precise of what you do – Backend Java Developer, otherwise your profile will be skipped over.

Jargon

Ninja that, and superstar this. Just tell us what you do. Enough with the jargon.

Be Active

By liking LinkedIn content, commenting on news, etc – your profile will stand out and rank on top of others (the way LI algorithm works) – so be active.

Open Candidate

By turning on Open Candidate option on LinkedIn – you are letting recruiters know that you are open to job opportunities. Use that.

Devs in Canada – You Making Enough Money?

Stack Overflow, job board and IT community of sorts, have introduced a salary calculator where you can input your profile information and it will provide you with estimate salary you should be making.

The tool is available in Canada and you can compare web dev salaries in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, etc by entering your role, city, skills, years of experience, and education level.

After entering all that info, Stack Overflow will provide you with a range of salary you should be making and suggest different roles you might be wiling to try.

Salaries Vary across Canada for Developers

We have decided to give it a test to see what

  • backend developer with
  • 8 years of experience with
  • Java experience gets you across Canada

Here is what we got in 50th to 75th percentile salary range (all money in Canadian dollars):

Montreal: $74k-$89k 

Toronto: $80k – $96k 

Vancouver: $74k-$89k

.. and Europe? Depends where you are

Paris – $66k – $80k

Berlin – $80k-$100k

London – $80k-$95k

We all need to move to NYC

New York City – $125k – $150k

 

You can try the calculator by yourself by visiting: https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/salary

 

Uber is Leaving Quebec, Say It ain’t So

Update: Uber has backtracked on its “shut down operations in Quebec” threat. Company said it will continue to negotiate with the government.

Government backtracked a bit as well saying that even though they will not change training requirements which now require 35 hours of training vs 20, it will allow new drivers to have eight weeks to do their background checks and drivers who are already in a system will have two years to update it.

This is not the first time Uber threatens to leave, it left Austin , Texas few years ago due to unfavorable regulations, and the city and state backtracked by overruling with a new state law.


According to Radio Canada, Uber intends to leave Quebec within the next few weeks.

Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, director general of Uber Quebec, said provincial regulations are killing the company, and making it inoperable in that province. He was mainly referring to 35 hours mandatory training Uber drivers have to do in Quebec.

Quebec is the only jurisdiction in Canada forcing this kind of training on drivers in Canada. 5,000 Uber drivers are about to lose their jobs.

The requirement of 35 hour mandatory training legislated by Province of Quebec is the same as their requirement for their taxi drivers.

Guillemette said that it does not make sense for Uber drivers to do 35 hour driving training as most of them do it as part time job to supplement their income. He compared it Airbnb hosts – imagine he said – if government asked for 35 hours from Airbnb hosts for training – noone would rent their places out anymore.

Quebec Transportation Moving Backwards

To tighten the knot, Quebec’s Transport Minister Laurent Lessard, said he can let Uber continuing operating but they would need to:

  • do 35 hours of training instead of 20 hours required now (75% increase in training hours)
  • do background checks by police and not private companies (meaning you have to go physically to police station instead of doing it online as you can with private)
  • .. and make sure government agents can inspect Uber cars every 12 months

Taxi Drivers Rejoice; Taxi Union Wins

Guy Chevrette, spokesperson for the Quebec taxi coalition, said finally government showing support for the taxi industry in that province. He said he is expecting government to help taxi industry to modernize.

Chevrette said that Uber made illegal profits in Quebec and brought the taxi permit license prices by more than 50%.

Last year, taxi drivers blocked airports and main roads, to show their anger at Uber. They have also randomly stopped Uber cars and physically abused the drivers.

Quebec – the Only Canadian Province without an Uber

A lot of Montrealers and Uber drivers said they would be sad to see Uber leave the province. Many said it improved their lives and gave them options when moving around the city.

Some Facebook said that taxi industry was outdated, taxis were dirty, taxi driver not courteous, taxis taking people around the block and double charging, and credit card machines never working.

This is sad to see – when just recently City of Toronto announced that Lyft, another major car ride company, entering that city at the end of the year.

Bye Bye I Do not Care

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre who does not shy away from public eyes met reporters at City Hall after Uber’s announcement and expressed his anger:

Bye bye, I don’t care. Don’t threaten me. If you want to threaten me, I’ve got some Irish blood. If those people are saying, ‘well, I’m against that kind of training, and by Oct. 14, we’ll leave. Well, I’m sorry, tough luck. I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to lose any sleep.

Quebec’s Transport Minister Laurent Lessard confirmed his stance in Quebec City after Uber’s annoucement:

We are not in negotiation mode. Uber is a useful service, but Quebec has no intention of modifying its criteria.

Bad Signal to Startups in Quebec

Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, just released this (roughly translated from French) announcement blaming Quebec’s Transportation Minister for not finding a compromise:

This decision, if it were to be confirmed, will have to be analyzed as a finding of failure. While Montreal is positioning itself as a welcoming ground for innovative companies, the inability to modernize the regulatory framework to allow Uber to operate in Quebec is giving a very bad signal to start-ups here and to investors who provide venture capital. The government’s decision to authorize pilot projects was a promising avenue to create a competitive and innovative environment for the benefit of users. It appears that the Department of Transport is struggling to respond quickly and flexibly to the demands of new players. Teo would have to wait several months before being granted access to more licenses. Uber is having difficulty getting the space necessary to continue operating in Quebec. The taxi community had begun to work on promising strategies in the work of the Committee on Modernization of the Taxi Industry. That is why we were surprised that the minister is imposing new rules on the pilot project.

We must accept that technological change is causing profound transformations in the vast majority of sectors of our economy. We are all mobilized behind the development of our artificial intelligence ecosystem and we are in the race to get the second headquarters of Amazon, the company that causes the most upheavals in the retail trade. If we are not agile and flexible, both in the regulatory framework and in business models, we risk falling behind and continuing to face front-end innovations elsewhere.

Uber Explains Why They are Being Forced Out

Technopolys, Movement to Promote Quebec’s tech, Launched

Canadian province of Quebec has been getting a lot of attention lately mainly due to Artificial Intelligence space. Offices of companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Google have opened or are in a process of opening in Montreal, and tech companies in Quebec want to capitalize on this movement and promote Quebec to the outside world as a place to do business.

Technolopys has been created combining companies, universities, research centers, and associations into a community that will “speak with a single voice” and promote Quebec’s IT scene to the world.

The society wants to help with

  • increase knowledge about its contribution to Quebec’s economy, the innovation ecosystem, and citizens’ quality of life;
  • promote entrepreneurship, technology careers, and the teaching programs that lead to them;
  • increase international recognition for Québec as a centre of digital innovation.

« There are other players around the world who are in the process of investing massively in technologies. If we want to have a chance at succeeding, we need to unite our strengths. We need to speak with a single voice. »

– Yoshua Bengio, Canadian computer scientist born in France and is most noted for his work on artificial neural networks and deep learning

Good Initiative in the Right Direction

It is great that this initiative has been launched and is long overdue. Quebec (and Montreal in particular) is a unique society that has been struggling to gain momentum so hopefully this will be a push in the right direction.

Video outlining the goals of the organization

 

Trump Scared Amazon, or Why Canada Might Get Amazon HQ2

You must be living under a rock if you did not hear about Amazon’s plan to add a new city to host their second head office.

Different publications, blogs and mediums have rushed to the internet with their predictions. Cities like Denver, Colorado, and Austin, TX area as well as Chicago were being highlighted as potentials for Amazon’s HQ2.

A lot of naysayers are saying that Canada can never compete with the US on kickbacks aka subsidies that US cities and states can provide to the retail’s giant.

TravelingMice / Pixabay

Why Canada has a Chance

However Canada has one thing going that US does not. We do not have Trump north of the border. And this will help Canada tremendously as US giant might want to diversify their assets, and get easier access to more talent.

Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa on a visit to Seattle said – according to NY Times:  “Amazon has something like 9,000 engineering jobs they can’t fill. Our immigration policy is much more liberal. That’s where we have an advantage.”

Canada Can Do It

Quiet a few cities in Canada can satisfy few of Amazon’s demands. Let’s see:

  • 1m people or more – yes
  • International Airport – yes
  • Tax Breaks – maybe
  • Affordable housing – maybe
  • Attract Good talent – maybe

Size Matters

Size of course matters to Amazon and that is why med population city might be disqualified on a spot – cities like Edmonton, Calgary , Winnipeg and Ottawa. With unemployment already at 0.02% in IT, it would be interesting how mid sized cities can help Amazon to hire 50,000 top notch engineers in those cities.

Location Matters Also

Location matters also – with Seattle being HQ1, why would Amazon open HQ2 within few hundred kilometers away from HQ1. It makes no sense.

Parlez-vous Français?

Language and ability to attract highly talented staff might prove difficult for Montreal to get Amazon to come there. With governing opposition parties pushing for making French language mandatory for companies with 10 or more employees – it would be interesting to see how Amazon the largest retail ecommerce store would handle that. Also getting highly specialized talent to come to Montreal with their families would prove to be difficult due to salaries / language requirements.

Toronto is Where It is at

No matter how competitive other cities in Canada are. Toronto is where HQ2 will open if it would be open in Canada. Toronto has a vibrant economy and is already considered to be a top place for tech businesses to operate in. With population of around 5m within an hour drive and specialized tech talent – Toronto can rival any US city.

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