Is Amazon’s Canada Expansion the Boon It Is Made out to Be?

Amazon is looking to expand into Canadian cities and will invest around five billion dollars in their new chosen location. This investment is expected to create an economic boom for the city apart from generating jobs for around fifty thousand people.

However some experts including Toronto based venture-capitalist Anthony Lacavera said this was not really the boon it was made out to be, but could rather end up hurting the city’s resources. In a recent interview with a major media organization he said this move could become a Trojan horse on the nation’s future prosperity.

The ancient Greeks used the Trojan horse to breech the city of Troy and destroy it. Similarly American Tech giants coming to Canada is not for the long-term benefit of the Canadian economy and the Canadian people and welfare. They’re here for the benefit of their own shareholders and most of those shareholders, 99-plus per cent in the case of Google, Amazon, Facebook, are foreign shareholders, predominantly U.S.-based shareholders, Lacavera told a leading media organization.

He added that the motivation of the company was to hire the best local talent and then transfer them to the U.S. headquarters when they rise to the top. Elected officials in Canada should support homegrown businesses and entrepreneurs with the same enthusiasm and urgency that was displayed in the reaction to Amazon pitches.

[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Anthony Lacavera”]“I’m highly opposed to using significant taxpayer incentives, additional dollars to roll out the red carpet for these companies, because we need those dollars to go into our burgeoning, emerging technology companies” [/pullquote]

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“I’m highly opposed to using significant taxpayer incentives, additional dollars to roll out the red carpet for these companies, because we need those dollars to go into our burgeoning, emerging technology companies,” Lacavera said.

Governments at all levels should focus on supporting the homegrown technology sector while helping the technology business scale up, he said adding that companies like Shopify and Hootsuite which were well financed and have had success are already exporting. To create a global dominance it was essential to become a key player in the technology industry, he added.

“What people are failing to recognize is that the gravitas and vacuum created by the big U.S. technology giants is enough on its own. You don’t need to help them. Enough young, bright Canadians are going to go work at Microsoft or Amazon or Google anyway. You don’t need to be rolling out the red carpet and wooing them to come here with even bigger investments,”