It has been a busy week for Canada’s Prime Minister during his trip to British Columbia. Just a day after announcing (with great showmanship) the new proposed transit budget in Vancouver, that came with a hefty hike in train cars, and funds, PM Trudeau, Premier Christy Clark, and Mayor Gregor Robertson helped usher in the 500 Million dollar Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre, or MCEC.
Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver – the 6th, and 7th floors of the brand new Nordstrom building – the MCEC is a state-of-the-art facility that looks to both grow both the industry, and the people here in Vancouver, BC. Trudeau, a self proclaimed geek, provided a rousing speech about the investment in Canadians made that fateful Friday morning on the West Coast of Canada.
“Now is the time to invest in Canada. This isn’t just big news for Microsoft, this is big news for Vancouver, and for Canada.” Trudeau spoke, during the podium press conference affair.
We followed Trudeau, Clark, and Robertson as they (mainly the PM) shook the hands of plenty, and demoed a few of the projects being worked on by teams at the Microsoft campus — a smart camera application, and an intelligent Art Tour app. Trudeau, unlike any Prime Minister seen before him, looks, acts, and feels right at home in a technological smorgasbord like this. Being of a younger generation, it has never been more real that the leader of our country could empathize, and fight for the innovation sectors of Canada.
Trudeau dissolves the ignorance problem that the tech industry has always felt when it comes to the decision makers of our country doing what is best for the sector. A PM that shocked the press when explaining quantum computing better than the combined writer’s room of the Big Bang Theory.
The new 140,000 + square-foot centre at 725 Granville street will allow Microsoft to amalgamate some efforts, as they plan to bring in teams that have previously been a little spread out and rogue. The MCEC will house the OneNote team, the folks working at MSN, The Coalition (Gears of War), Big Park Studios, and even Skype.
“This *raising a hand to his surroundings* shows that Microsoft sees the potential, and value in Canadian innovation.” Said Trudeau during his speech. “We firmly believe that Canada can play a leading role in developing the innovations that will redefine how we think about technology – not just in this country, but around the world” added Janet Kennedy, President, Microsoft Canada.
While his time at the MCEC was short, it was impactful. Trudeau made the distinct effort to shake the hands of all those in attendance, especially the large group of students standing on-stage with him. The future, as they say, is an ever growing combustion of intelligence, and resourcefulness.
“This is a real vote of confidence in the community, and in the talent and expertise of Canadian workers.” Concluded Justin Trudeau.
There was a fire in those hallways. A palpable excitement. One that will see the MCEC reach the moon, on the fuel of their opening bash.