Canadian Business Leaders Aren’t Looking for Business Advice from Parliament

BY STEVE E. ANDERSON 
HUFFINGTON POST 

Wow, this is how Conservative MP Laurie Hawn responded to the now 140 plus businesses who have raised concerns in a letter published by the National Post about reckless spying Bill C-51: “[They] should seriously reconsider their business model and their lack of commitment to the values that bind us as Canadians.”

Keep in mind that the list of signatories includes the founder of the largest software company in Canada.

In fact the list of signatories runs the gamut from local bakeries, to property developers, to venture capitalists. It’s amazingly unbecoming of a public office holder like Laurie Hawn to question the loyalty to Canada of these business people from across the country.  

Here are some notable signatories Mr. Hawn flippantly insulted:

  • Ryan Holmes is the Founder and CEO of HootSuite, which is valued at over 1 billion dollars and known for closing one of the largest venture capital funding rounds in Canadian history. Hootsuite and co-signatory Vision Critical are anticipated to announce IPOs in the next couple years where they are expected to raise $50 million each according to analysts.

  • Tim Bray is the Principal of Textuality Services Inc. and co-founder of OpenText, Canada’s largest software company.

  • Stewart Butterfield is the President & Co-founder of Slack, one of the world’s hottest web companies valued at 2.8 billion dollars. Stewart also co-founded popular photo sharing service Flickr.

  • John Ruffolo is the CEO of OMERS Ventures, one of the largest institutional investors in Canada.

  • Tobi Lütke is CEO of Shopify, which just filed for an initial public offering last week. The company has 632 employees and generated more than $105-million in revenue in 2014.

Many many more are listed here.

I could be wrong but my sense is that these business leaders were not looking for business advice from a politician. I suspect they also do not like having their values and loyalty called into question nor the insinuation that they are “profiting” off of “horrific material.”

The arrogance and elitism displayed by Mr. Hawn and his colleagues towards the business sector is really abhorrent. And scary given the extreme new spying powersthey are in the process of giving themselves.

 

For the record, the concerns raised by these business leaders are echoed by former prime ministers (from both the Conservatives and Liberals), retired Supreme Court judges, security experts, spy watchdogs, best selling authors, the government’s ownprivacy commissioners, Conservative voters, and the vast majority of Canadians.

It really does appear the Conservatives have been in power so long that they’ve truly lost touch.

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