Missing the real opportunity with the Gateway

This must be close to a dozen India BPO firms that have now set up in Toronto in the past 3-4 years.

I have been calling since the early 2000s for New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada to position itself as the perfect North American location for Indian IT BPOs.  It became clear back then that these firms were going to expand internationally and at the time it seemed that Atlantic Canada made perfect sense.

But Ontario was way out front on this setting up offices in India and aggressively pursuing these firms and now there are easily several thousand IT workers in the GTA working for Indian outsourcing firms – and virtually none in New Brunswick (there is a call centre and I believe a transcription firm with Indian ownership).

I also said that the Atlantic Gateway could have been far more than just a few more cargo ships in Halifax.  We could have as a region taken a little of that billion in federal money and set up offices in India to promote trade and investment into the region into a variety of sectors including IT BPO.

But we would rather fight and haggle about who gets to pave what road with the federal money.