Mayor Bonnie Crombie: "Cities power the nation"

Bonnie Crombie, is the Mayor of Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city, an international destination that embodies vibrancy and diversity of culture.

1.    When you reflect upon your career path, is there a defining moment that influenced where you are today? 

 My family greatly shaped who I am today and my decision to pursue a life in public service. 

 My mother was born in Poland and my grandparents immigrated to Canada from Europe in the late 1940s to give her, and ultimately me, the opportunity for a better life here in Canada. Like many immigrants, they passed along their values of hard work, determination and perseverance. They sacrificed so much for our family and in return, I wanted to live up to their expectations and not let them down.

Pursuing a career in public service gave me the ability to not only make a difference and give back to my community but to make my family proud and prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

 I truly believe that cities power the nation… In cities people dream, think big, innovate, collaborate and connect.

2.    Canada’s tech ecosystem is vibrant and rapidly expanding. Looking back, which factors in your view have driven this expansion? What do you think can be done to accelerate this further? 

First and foremost, it is our diverse and highly skilled talent pool. Canada brings together people from around the world, provides them access to some of the best educational institutions in the world, and allows them the opportunity to innovate and take their ideas from concept to commercialization. We must continue to invest in education, especially in the STEM/STEAM fields. We also need to ensure that graduates have the ability to innovate and commercialize their ideas here in Canada and that the IP produced stays here. 

 Talent should know no borders. 

3.    Canadian Dream Summit aspires to a Canada where everyone is able to pursue and achieve their greatest ambitions. Three principles guide us: #VisionToReality, #Collaborate Local, #DreamGlobal. Which one of these resonates the most with your work? 

#CollaborateLocal. I truly believe that cities power the nation and that our local communities play a critical role in the future of our country and our innovation ecosystem. In cities people dream, think big, innovate, collaborate and connect. We build the infrastructure needed to build a business and we welcome people from every part of the world. 

We welcome people from every part of the world. 

4.    If you had three wishes for Canada’s tech ecosystem in 2019, what would they be and who would they impact? 

1.     Continue to support and empower more women to pursue careers in tech.

2.     Emerge as the leading destination for commercialization in the world.

3.     Pioneer disruptive technology that makes our global economy more interconnected and changes how we interact with the world, for examples, BitCoin, Uber and Netflix.

5.   What do you see as a significant area of untapped opportunity for Canadian tech? 

Continue to foster and embrace diversity. In a world where walls are replacing open borders and divisions are being stoked, those that want to succeed need to embrace openness and diversity. Talent should know no borders. 

Mayor Crombie will be speaking at Canadian Dream Summit on February 19th in Toronto. To reserve a ticket, click here.