Northern headquarters would benefit both Amazon and Ottawa
Amazon recently announced that it will be building a new headquarters.
How likely is it that Amazon will leave the United States? Unfortunately, not very. It’s possible that Amazon merely enlarged the potential new location pool to create a more intense competitive atmosphere amongst the bidding cities, to get a better deal for themselves.
Hopefully that’s not the case, as Ottawa is a great city for Amazon to consider setting up shop in.
In response to the announcement, cities across North America began scrambling together tantalizing incentives that could seduce the company to come to them, as the new HQ will bring with it an estimated 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investment. This specific bidding process is unique in the company’s history, as now, for the first time, Canada and Mexico also have a shot at landing an HQ.
City Ottawa mayor Jim Watson told the New York Times that “we have an advantage” because Canada’s “immigration policy is much more liberal.” And right now that is most certainly advantageous to Amazon, who already has 9,000 unfilled engineering jobs resulting from an inability to bring in offshore talent. With the political turmoil and immigration nightmare in the United States making business more difficult for companies such as Amazon, Canada stands as a more stable option.
Canada is offering Amazon an escape from restrictive American immigration policies. Amazon can get the talent they need and it’s less of a headache to expand the company. For a company like Amazon, known for its continuous and bold expansion into new industries, getting the best talent as soon as possible is mandatory for success.
Moreover, one of Amazon’s specific site requests is an efficient transportation system. As it happens, Ottawa is in the process of constructing a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. Since most other cities already have a transit system built, Ottawa is in a unique position to tailor more specifically to Amazon’s commuting needs, as ours is still being built.
And Ottawa’s particular benefits extend far beyond preferable commute times; the more affordable health care system, universities and schools, and a growing job market all offer a balanced habitat for ambitious coders and programmers if Amazon chooses Ottawa.
Indeed, Ottawa succeeds in fulfilling almost all of Amazon’s requests, including a strong university system, access to an international airport, and the capacity to begin construction immediately.
Ottawa itself could also benefit from Amazon’s arrival more than most other cities. In a city so dependent upon the public sector, an incursion of well paying private jobs is bound to bolster the economy.
Amazon should certainly consider Ottawa for its new HQ. Beyond escaping the logistical nightmare imposed by Trump’s immigration policies, Ottawa is a city waiting for the opportunity to prove its innovative and progressive characteristics.