October 4, 2017

A Wake-up Call for the North American Labour and Innovation Markets: Join the Mission!

Toronto, ON –
In February of this year, the CATA Cyber Council announced its mandate which focuses on driving progress through focusing on three key areas of concern for Canada—the skilled labour shortage, economic prosperity through the advancement of the cyber security industry, and advancing public-private collaboration. The need to develop strong labour and skills training for the industry was flagged as a priority for creating jobs, securing our businesses, government and citizens.

This morning TD Bank announced that they would be opening up a new cyber security lab in Israel. As noted by the bank’s CIO – “the bank just couldn’t resist the security talent available in the region.” While TD has been a respected employer and developer of cyber security expertise in the Canadian and US marketplace, it does trigger the question of why chose a country of 8.5 million people to innovate over a continent of 361 million?

“I don’t think its question of right or wrong from the perspective of the bank. I have no doubt careful thought and deliberation went into this decision but I do think it highlights a bigger issue that both the Canadian and US marketplaces need to consider in terms of talent development and innovation” says Katherine Thompson, HFS Principal and Cyber Council Chair.  “This should serve as a wake-up call that the time to tackle issues like skilled labour market development is NOW.”

Industry Commentary

The lack of local Canadian Cyber Security skills is having a detrimental effect on the Canadian government & businesses ability to protect themselves from cyber crime. Cyber Crime continues to out pace all other crimes so what are the government, businesses and educational institutions doing about it?”

  • Danny Timmins, National Cyber Security Partner, MNP Enterprise Risk Services

“We need to, as a country, promote the innovative spirit and foster talent development at the entrepreneurial level in order to give Canadian talent the opportunity to succeed within our own walls. It’s a difficult message for small business to see when our major institutions start looking to external sources for their talent. Early and broad access to education & training is important, as is creating an ecosystem that is allowed to flourish – while not being taxed to death – becomes paramount to innovation and development”

  • Greg Markell is President of Ridge Canada Cyber Solutions Inc. (RCCS), a Canadian Managing General Insurance Agency which was co-founded by the Honourable Tom Ridge, the first US Secretary of Homeland Security and President of Ridge Global.

“This investment by TD underscores the fact that Canada is clearly playing catch up when it comes to positioning itself as a hub for innovation and skilled labour – especially with when it comes to cybersecurity. I think government, academia and private sector need to make significant and coordinated investments now to ensure we don’t lose the innovation race to be leaders in the digital economy”

  • Imran Ahmad, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP and CATA Cyber Council member

The CATA Cyber Council has been instrumental over the past year in engaging a cross-section of private and public sector stakeholders both in and outside of Canada who support the need for accountability, progress and delivery of a national and international strategy that will help support the development of skilled labour and academic training programs. To learn more, please contact Katherine Thompson at kthompson@cata.ca

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