The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) is expanding nationwide with the addition of government relations experts in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia, to supplement their existing focus on federal public policy regarding innovation.
CCI is a national business council representing more than 130 of Canada’s fastest growing companies in the innovation economy, including leading firms commercializing ideas in clean and health technologies, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cybersecurity and fintech.
Among the B.C.’s CEO members are Clio’s Jack Newton, Klue’s Jason Smith, GeoComply’s Anna Sainsbury, Plurilock’s Ian Paterson, Stemcell’s Allen Eaves, Terramera’s Karn Manhas, Traction Guest’s Keith Metcalfe, and Traction on Demand’s Greg Malpass.
“During the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, our members have looked to CCI as the leading voice to advocate for policies which support scaling technology companies, and we have been speaking to all levels of government about ways to help high-growth companies access the talent, capital and customers they need to fuel their growth,” said Benjamin Bergen, executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators.
“When the Council of Canadian Innovators surveyed our member companies at the end of 2020, we found that in spite of the economic challenges, scaling technology companies were planning to grow their workforce by 24 per cent in 2021. These knowledge-based companies with a proven track record of growth can be the backbone of a post-pandemic recovery.”
CCI’s practice leads in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. will be led by Dana O’Born, director of strategic initiatives, who also leads CCI’s national advocacy efforts. Tessa Seager in B.C., Bronté Valk in Alberta, and Alanna Sokic in Ontario join Pierre-Philippe Lortie, who has been CCI’s practice lead in Quebec since 2019.
“In 2020 it became clear that we needed to expand our team to enhance our advocacy at the provincial level, as the provinces’ economic policies are vitally important for the post-pandemic recovery,” Benjamin Bergen said. “On behalf of CCI member companies, I’m thrilled to welcome Bronté, Alanna and Tessa.”
Tessa Seager, CCI’s practice lead for B.C., brings a wealth of experience as an intellectual property lawyer and government relations consultant based in Vancouver. She holds a Juris Doctor from UBC and a Master of Political Management from Carleton University. Tessa has worked with clients to influence policy, access funding, navigate complex regulatory environments and manage political risk.
“I haven’t been at CCI long, but I’ve already started connecting with our members, and it’s exciting to know that British Columbia is home to some of Canada’s fastest growing scale-ups. To maintain their pace of growth, these companies need a government that works hand-in-glove with innovators, especially as we move into the post-pandemic economic recovery,” Seager told Techcouver when asked for a comment.
“At CCI we believe that provincial policy will be an important factor driving the innovation economy in Canada, and I’m excited to work with Premier Horgan and his team to build the policy infrastructure needed to set B.C. up for success in the 21st century data-driven economy.”
The Council of Canadian Innovators was created in 2015 by successful Canadian technology CEOs to ensure their voice was heard in the public policy development process. The Council is chaired by Jim Balsillie, retired chairman and co-CEO of Blackberry, and John Ruffolo, Founder & Managing Partner of Maverix Private Equity, and Founder of OMERS Ventures.