FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is off to Toronto this week in an effort to attract more cybersecurity jobs to his province.
Gallant will meet with officials of Siemens, who are looking for a location to build a “global centre of confidence” in cybersecurity.
“Obviously we believe that we have the assets and a cluster that is second to none in North America for a business like Siemens to be able to invest in their global centre of confidence in cybersecurity,” he said.
Gallant said the centre would include dozens of high-paying jobs, with the potential for dozens more during a second phase.
“There are some ‘i’s to dot and ‘t’s to cross, but we’re very positive, and Opportunities New Brunswick has been working very closely with Siemens, who completely understand what we have to offer here in New Brunswick when it comes to cybersecurity, the cluster we’re building together, the strong workforce and innovative economy,” he said.
Siemens already has a large presence in the province with facilities to develop smart-grid technology.
Gallant said attracting Siemens’ new centre to New Brunswick would, in turn, help attract other major companies to locate their cybersecurity programs in the province.
New Brunswick is becoming a cybersecurity hub with major investments by companies like IBM and TD Bank, and the Canadian Cybersecurity Institute at the University of New Brunswick.
Last month, the TD Bank Group became the first Canadian bank to join the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity as a founding partner.
Frank McKenna, deputy chairman at TD and a former New Brunswick premier, said protecting online data is “mission critical” for the bank because it is under constant attacks from hackers.
He said the bank plans to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the institute and will open an office on site with up to 20 employees to start with. The institute’s cybersecurity graduate students will work with TD technology teams to develop new ways to detect and deal with online threats.
There have been reports that estimate the global cost of cybercrime exceeded $600 billion last year.
“We really believe that cybersecurity is, unfortunately, a major challenge for businesses, organizations and countries around the world moving forward, which makes it a huge economic opportunity as well,” Gallant said.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press