Calexit Lite: Silicon Valley Starts Packing for Vancouver

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 2/21/2017 02:04:00 PM
Where to head after Trump's Hicksville, USA invades Silicon Valley.
Nearly everyone knows that California has leaned more Democratic in recent times, causing widespread bafflement there about Donald Trump's presidential election victory insofar as his opponent, Hillary Clinton, won the state by more than 4.2 million votes. Unsurprisingly, there is a renewed call for California to secede from the union. Not only is it fundamentally misaligned with Trump's misanthropic, misogynistic, and xenophobic vision, but it also is a net contributor to the finances of the United States of America. Hence the proposed referendum for California exit:
The arguments for Calexit are pretty simple: The state is drifting ever-further away from the rest of the country in cultural attitudes and public policies, especially with respect to immigration and the environment. California’s size and wealth (its GDP is similar to that of France) make it the one state that might make a go of it alone. It is also a “donor state” when it comes to the relationship of federal taxes collected from Californians to the federal spending conducted there; one recent analysis showed California ranking 46th among the states in relative dependence on Washington.

But it’s clear the main reason for sudden interest in Calexit is Donald J. Trump, and the possibility a federal Republican regime under his direction would preempt California preferences on a wide range of issues. Even though Governor Jerry Brown and other statewide Democratic elected officials have kept their distance from Calexit, the saber-rattling they have conducted about the state’s willingness to fight Trump and the GOP in court has undoubtedly fed the Calexit sentiment. The latest Trump provocation, threatening sanctuary cities with the cancellation of all federal funds, is being perceived by both his friends and enemies as mainly aimed at the Golden State.
To be blunt, it is unlikely that such a referendum will be held, let alone it succeeding on technical grounds. Hence, technology companies that are commercially and culturally influential have been fleet-footed in looking for alternatives in the expectation that federal policies inimical to their interests are likely to be implemented in the near future such as restricting visas for foreign workers strong in science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM]. What's a tech hub that's relatively close to Silicon Valley in a country more civilized than Trump's America?

Head for Vancouver, Canada my tech friend:
Drawing on links with nearby Seattle, and San Francisco further south, a tech boom in Canada’s third-largest city has pulled in tens of thousands of skilled workers and start-up entrepreneurs in recent years, sparking a fierce fight for the limited supply of office space. Now the commercial centre of Canada’s most westerly province of British Columbia is braced for a fresh influx of talent — this one driven by the shifting immigration policies of the Trump administration in Washington. A month after Donald Trump entered the White House, the US tech sector is still trying to figure out how to adapt to the sweeping immigration reform promised by the new president.
The movement has begun as Silicon Valley hedge their bets against Trump's Fortress America:
Gregor Robertson, Vancouver mayor, says that inquiries from US tech companies have risen sharply in recent months, putting further pressures on office spaces in areas such as Gastown. “We’re bracing for that to now grow even faster, to see more people come north,” says Mr Robertson, who expects tech sector job growth in the city to accelerate from 6 per cent to 10 per cent in the next few years.
 The industry currently employs 75,000 people in Vancouver. “It’s really a reaction to the level of uncertainty,” says Mike Tippett, a Vancouver-based entrepreneur. He believes a Canadian presence can be part of a “continuity strategy” for ambitious young US software groups. “They want a back-up plan that can be kicked into gear very quickly,” he adds.  
Think of Vancouver real-estate as a hedge against Trumpian political risk and you wouldn't go far wrong as far as most of Silicon Valley is concerned. (Except for Trump apologist Peter Thiel perhaps.)