Friday, July 06, 2007

Microsoft expands in Canada amid U.S. visa crunch

Yahoo News is reporting that Microsoft said it plans to open a Vancouver, British Columbia, facility by the end of the year. It will initially have about 200 workers, and employ about 900 within a couple years. Businesses, particularly technology firms, say they need to recruit foreign nationals, many of whom have received their graduate degrees in the United States, to compensate for a shortage of qualified programmers, engineers and scientists. Microsoft said in a statement that the Vancouver center will "allow the company to continue to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by the immigration issues in the United States." But company spokesman Lou Gellos said Microsoft's frustration with the U.S. government's visa policy wasn't the only reason for the expansion in Canada.

Having visited Canada and Vancouver (pictured above) in particular, I suspect there is another reason for the move by Microsoft beside those named in the story: namely the intolerant image of the USA growing abroad. Canada is a far more tolerant country and Vancouver has a very diverse population where a cosmopolitan population seems to get along. Moreover, the policies of the Christo-fascists tied to Chimperator Bush's regime and which continue to dominate the GOP hold little sway in Canada. To be candid, when I crossed the border back into the USA, I felt like I was leaving true freedom behind in Canada.
Long term, the damage this administration has done to the nation is huge, with the Iraq disaster being only a small part of the overall damage. For the whole story, see:;_ylt=At7N9_6A1t1SrDF_QEhaPzJvaA8F.


Anonymous said...

Tolerance? Visit Alberta, and the "homeland" between Ontario and Vancouver. Red neck, maybe. (Alas, the Canadian Rockies are spectacular, and sane folks can be found in Calgary.)

It's ECONOMICS, Michael. Microsoft has not had a reputation for "tolerance," yielding to the Religious Right's opposition to GLBT. Odd, also, that it chose Redmond, WA, rather than Silicon Valley. Tolerance? No! Cheaper, and if you're a monopoly, buy cheap.

Call Microsoft and see how cheap they are. Your phone call will be appropriately routed to INDIA. For diversity? Tolerance? NO. Because Indians work cheap. The Redmond oasis was because it was CHEAP. Silicon Valley is EXPENSIVE. Economics, Michael, even to the point of abandoning its pro-inclusive GLBT policy when threatened with a boycott (where would one go? Microsoft is a monopoly.)

If anyone seriously believes business is "altruistic," "serves the community," promotes "diversity," one is living in a fantasy. Business is business. Make a profit. IF, and only IF, it makes economic sense, do businesses "reach out to minorities." Guess what? Many GLBT are IT techies and nerds. Presto! Partner benefits. As part of a "competitive" compensation package, not because of social engineering.

The very first businesses to offer GLBT partner benefits were IT. HP, Apple, Varian, Memorex, and who was the one of the last? The Monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, a secondary observation. Vancouver is a wonderful city, and known for its diversity and pluralism, most of the time. But Beloved and I were obviously denied tables in some of Vancouver's nicest restaurants, why? Tell me. It's rare. But it never happens in the Bay Area. If you think the rest of Amerika is like Norfolk, do so travel. Seattle has a huge gay community (in no small part due to Microsoft). Ditto Portland. And San Francisco? Well. Los Angeles (even though primarily Hispanic).

Don't judge Amerika by Below the Mason-Dixon Line, any more than I'd judge Canada by some of its interior provinces. Grand Rapids, Chicago, Minneapolis, Saint Louis, all have vibrant gay communities and are respecting and tolerant. Even Cleveland (perhaps because of its great symphony).

Slip below the Mason-Dixon Line, well, you've stepped below the line. You're lucky it has the oases of Atlanta, Miami-Ft Lauderdale, and once upon a time New Orleans. GWB made sure that cultural oases never returned, but he is destroying the whole country, lock, stock, and barrel, far deeper and wider than appearances. He's sold the whole damn place to China (seriously). China "owns" the U.S.A., having purchased our "deficits" in order to access our "markets" unfairly, contaminated, and uncompetitively. It's called "tit-for-tat." You want profligacy, deficits, and useless wars, we want your markets, in exchange for which, we'll purchase your Treasury bonds and bills.

Wink. Wink. Nod. Nod. Amerika is a nearly wholly-own subsidiary of the People's Republic of China. When China coughs, Wall Street tanks. Follow the money!