B.C. tech companies take issue with Immigration Canada

Commander Chris Hadfield, with a long slideshow of images from spaces, head lined the event.

Plus, our 30 Under 30 winners and more ‘technical cashmere’

Tech worker troubles
Tech sector employers are still reeling from changes to the temporary foreign worker program and what they refer to as the federal government’s “sluggish” approval process for bringing high-skilled workers into Canada. “Citizenship and Immigration Canada is making it difficult for us to recruit from the U.S.” said Jonathan Rhone, president and CEO of Axine Water Technologies, garnering a round of applause at the B.C. Tech Forum, an industry get-together hosted by the Vancouver Board of Trade on Friday morning. His company, Axine, works with energy sector companies to treat industrial wastewater.

High housing problems are also a problem when recruiting workers to B.C., said John Floren, the CEO of Vancouver-based Methanex, a publicly-traded manufacturer of methanol.

The event was also a debut for Amrik Virk, the province’s new minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, who was shuffled to the portfolio in December. Virk—who ended up at the butt end of some teaseful prodding for “losing his job” and “getting a pay raise” from the moderator—said that he is lobbying the federal government to match the province’s venture capital tax credit.

files from Jacob Parry

30 Under 30
They are CEOs, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. And they are killing it in their 20s. Meet and be inspired by B.C.’s young guns who are shaking up business in this province. BCBusiness‘s annual 30 Under 30 winners have been announced. Check them out here.

Trading ban
Kit and Ace, the “technical cashmere” retailer created by JJ and Shannon Wilson—the son and wife of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson—has announced 10 more stores, including one in Kitsilano. The company confirmed the new locations on Thursday, many of which were second-tier Midwest cities—cities like Minneapolis and Cincinnati. Cashmere must be a comfy option for those long, cold Midwest winters.