June 27, 2019

Canada’s technology sector loses one of its longtime and strongest supporters

It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) announces the sudden passing this week of its President and CEO, John Reid.

John was 69 years old and died June 24 while on holiday in Geiranger, Norway with his wife of 30 years, Carol Beere. He died suddenly and unexpectedly.

John Reid

John Reid, President and CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance
1950 – 2019

The entire CATAAlliance family mourns this loss. On behalf of our Board of Directors and management team, we extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to his wife and family. Our thoughts are with them at this most difficult time. John is survived by his wife, two children, Kate Voltan and Andrew Beere as well as five grandchildren, Zack, Matty, Jadyn, Valerie and Fiona.

Sir Terry Matthews, founder and Chair, Wesley Clover International and longtime CATA National Spokesperson said,

“John Reid was much more than the President of CATAAlliance. John was a true champion of our Tech Industry and the most persistent driver of Canadian innovation and competitive advancement. He was the well-known and respected leader within the ‘Tech Sector’ for the next generation digital economy, constantly promoting and advocating policy and program improvements to government. He applied much time on the societal impacts of new technologies, supporting the fight against cybercrime and encouraging member firms to increase representation of women in our industry.

Though his legacy will continue, John Reid will be sorely missed.”

Paul LaBarge, founding partner at the law firm LaBarge Weinstein LLP, CATA board member and member of the CATA Innovation Council said,

“John brought enthusiasm, passion, humour, intelligence and integrity to
everything he touched. John was the quintessential early adopter and a tireless advocate for Canadian enterprises, large and small, in our technology economy and a huge contributor to the development of the sector by his persistent insistence on sensible programs to enhance the viability of high tech in Canada. He will be sorely missed. CATA remains committed to that mission and carrying on his legacy.”

John was the driving force behind CATA for 32 years, joining the organization in 1987 and helping it to grow and prosper. Under his leadership he made CATA one of the strongest voices for Canada’s high tech industry. He created an annual awards event to recognize Canadian success stories.

His goal was to make Canada the world’s Innovation Nation and increase our competitiveness on the world stage. He worked to convince governments and the industry to craft policies and take actions to advance things such as tax fairness, diversity, better opportunities for women entrepreneurs, cybercrime prevention and better ways to use tax dollars to spur research. John worked with many of the nation’s top tech leaders and built up a social media reach of three million. He was always willing to use CATA and his own skills to help out an individual or a company.

His career encompassed many years of experience in both the public and private sector. He worked as a Commerce Officer with the Federal Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce and also worked at Energy, Mines and Resources. He worked in the financial community in London, England and was a research intern at the Copper Council in Paris, France. Prior to joining CATAAlliance, he directed the legislative activities of the Mining Association of Canada.

Born in London, Ontario, John attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a B.A with Honours in International Studies, then he gained a Senior Diploma in French Language and Literature from the Universite d’Aix-Marseille, France and a Masters degree in International Affairs from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

He sat on a number of high-level Task Forces and Boards and published numerous articles and reviews in the area of government relations and the technology and communications industry.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made. The services will be handled at Ottawa’s Hulse, Playfair and McGarry.

For further information
Contact Paul Labarge, CATA Board Member
613 – 599 – 9600 extension 201

Share your condolences and special memories to Alice Debroy at adebroy@cata.ca