ITAC welcomes new chief

At an event held by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) in Toronto this month, the organization introduced its new president and CEO while outlining IT’s position in the Canadian economy.

Bill Bergen – a former president of Oracle Corp. Canada Inc. – will take over responsibilities from acting ITAC president Adam Chowaniec, chairperson of Tundra Semiconductor Corp, effective June 9.

Bergen said he isn’t an “association kind of guy” but wanted to do something with Canadian importance.

“I wanted to get up in the morning and be excited about doing something for the Canadian IT sector,” Bergen said.

He added that he was excited about the changes that ITAC has been going through in the last couple of years with a stronger emphasis on “made in Canada.” He added that with this country’s size and “swiftness of foot,” Canada should be able to move past anything the U.S. IT industry can do in both the public and private sectors.

He said the goal of ITAC is to expand and develop the IT marketplace and improve productivity in Canada and to “put Canada on the road map as a role model to the rest of the world, particularly the G-8.”

President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Canada Ltd. and current ITAC chairperson Paul Tsaparis was on hand at the event. He noted that although “growth isn’t a word people are used to hearing in regards to the IT sector,” Canada is closing in on the peak levels that the IT industry achieved in the year 2000.

“We saw 0.5 per cent output growth in the third quarter of 2002 and 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter. This, of course, is nothing like the hockey stick-style growth we saw in the period from 1997 to 2001, but it’s treading in the right direction,” Tsaparis said.

He added that the young industry of IT is not in decline and cited experience, not optimism, as the factor behind ITAC’s positive thinking of the IT sector.

“Quite frankly, there isn’t a lot being reported about growth in [the IT] sector, however modest it may be. And, in that vacuum, the perception has taken root that we’re in decline. I may not be an economist, but I know you can’t decline and grow at the same time,” Tsaparis said.

ITAC can be found online at www.itac.ca.