Province of Nova Scotia to build the “BlackBerry 10 Centre of Excellence”

Ian Hardy

February 7, 2013 1:39pm


Canada is surely showing BlackBerry the love. According to Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry CEO and President, the Z10 release was “the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone.” Unfortunately no hard sales numbers were reported from any of our carriers.

Over on the East Coast, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter has committed to give BlackBerry some money in return for jobs. Dexter stated he’ll give $10 million ($2 million a year for the next 5 years) if BlackBerry ensures they’ll employ at least 400 people in the community. This Bedford location has already been heavily funded by the province, something to the tune of $16 million since 2005, and was apparently on the cusp of being shut down.

In addition, this new deal will also see the province build out the “BlackBerry 10 Centre of Excellence.” BlackBerry stated they will “invest $4 million annually in the centre of excellence to upgrade skills, purchase new equipment, hardware and software to support the new platform, and for research and development.” Nice to see jobs staying in Canada.

Source: Nova Scotia
Via: The Province
(Thanks HasIssa!)

  • Reggie Noble

    Take that Ontario!

    • socialist

      Harper paid Toyota to hire ppl also. Lol at Canadians business skills haha Canada can’t do business

    • gurtej08

      @Socialist, yeah that’s a bad investment. How about we throw $9 billion to the US for Fighter jets. That seems like a swell idead since Canada is entrenched in wars. I’d rather we spend money on something that will help people around the world down the road rather than throw money into something that is designed to kill people.

    • Tom

      Yes, but we shouldn’t make these decisions on nationalistic fervor alone.

      NYT headline today: “Lackluster Start for BlackBerry’s New Phone in Canada”

      Compare that to everything in Canadian publications in the last 24 hours.

      We have lost objectivity and that leads to bad investment decisions.

    • Ron Mexico

      Ummm, so they want to build a centre of excellence for a tech company and they go to the east coast? Oxymoron much?

      If I need someone to dig a ditch or plunge a toilet or just have a beer with, I’ll get someone from down east. If I am looking for even people with semi-literate technology skills, that is not where I would look.

      BB needs to remember that cheap labout is great if you can get it, but at this point they need excellence. They aren’t going to get that down there for the work the need.

    • Keith

      @moRon Mexico,

      Well you just outed yourself as an ignorant douche—I’m not surprised as I’ve seen many of your previous posts. In reality Halifax is one of the most educated cities in Canada. In MacLean’s Canada Council of Learning ranking, Halifax placed well into the top 10 of just about category. In the Smartest City category Halifax was ranked 6th ahead of Toronto, London, Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver and most other cities in Canada sans the 5 ahead of it.

      Many IT and financial companies from all the world are setting up here because of those reasons. KMPG recenntly ranked Halifax 5th in the world for business competitiveness. About those wages–Halifax has one of the highest ratios in Canada of people making $60,000 or more a year so I would recommend diggging your down ditch.

    • Ron Mexico

      @Keith: yup, so much talent they have to pay for jobs…I know I personally get tired of hearing about all of the technological innovations that are coming out of the region. Seems like I can’t turn on my TV without hearing about a new break through in science and technology out there. Truly, the brain trust of Canada.

    • Keith

      @Ron Mexico,

      Every region in North America is paying for jobs these days.

      True, for its size, Halifax does over-achieve in science in tech but I think you’re exaggerating.

  • ns.dev

    Another shrewd investment.

    end sarcasm.

  • thatshipislonggone

    way to throw tax money away.

  • All ways write

    Thats probably best…build it as far away as possible from the mecca of tech in Canada.. i****s

    • KL

      Time to take a few geography classes my friend.

  • Derrel

    I am ok with this.

  • BeQi

    in a failing economy, have the highest taxes rates, living costs & gas prices… we would gladly take more jobs. Call it a waste of tax payers money if u want, but that money is going right back in out pockets.. Ontarians, dont hate!

  • Raid

    From Wikipedia:

    A center of excellence refers to a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area. The focus area in this case might be a technology (e.g. Java), a business concept (e.g. BPM), a skill (e.g. negotiation) or a broad area of study (e.g. women’s health). A center of excellence may also be aimed at revitalizing stalled initiatives.

    A lot of companies have this sort of thing to excel in best practices and development. Sort of like what a concept vehicle does for a car company. It shows potential investors, vendors, suppliers and customers what they’re capable of.

  • Curtis

    Good for Nova Scotia!

  • thatshipislonggone

    govt of pei invested ton of money(from their 5.7% sales tax) on several projects and they all ended up a failure. it would help if they use this money to help startups in the region .

  • BMaz

    They are not throwing away tax dollars.
    They are subsidizing $5000 per employee for 5 years. They will get a lot of that back in income taxes, and if they are employed beyond 5 years they might actually get all their investment back.

    • KL

      Stop using logic, what’s wrong with you?

    • thatshipislonggone

      @BMAz : yeaaa go tell that to the PEI govt which just lost millions in similar “investments”. On the other side IF BB10 fails will BB last for 5 years ? Or is there a penalty if they fire people before the 5 year term, i dont kno like returning the money with interest ?

  • Happyboy

    I smell corporate welfare LOL but it be good for jobs in Canada I hop BlackBerry stays focused on delivering what is important to the customers and the Customers will keep coming back And who knows one day BlackBerry might even win me back but for now I will stay with iPhone as my iPhone has everything I need and want

    • Ron Mexico

      Well, it’s a region used to welfare, so that makes sense.

  • LugNutsMcGruff

    “… In other news, Calgary reported to be building a department of mediocrity.

    More news at 11″

  • placator

    Hey guys…where’s the Samsung investment in Canada?…just sucking out money from all the Canadian Samsheep.

    • Ron Mexico

      I heard Samsung was planning to open a centre here, but when they placed an ad for “Android lovers with previous employment history” both of them showed up. Needless to say the centre never got off the ground.

  • ant

    I just thought about Apple squeezing every last penny they can from some of less intelligent Canadians’ pockets, while BB is giving back to the citizens.

    I’d say full speed ahead, BB!

  • Sgt.Romanov

    Blackberry will be kicking A*S in the mobile industry

  • Draven

    Hey Ron Mexico…if I ever need someone with a heightened sense of self-importance, along with delusions of grandeur…where is it you’re from again? Because I would happily take 1 person from any community in Atlantic Canada, over a dozen from whatever place you call a home.

  • John_hates_blackberry

    Will the 2000 people laid off in 2011 get offered first refusal? How about the almost 5000 laid off in 2012?
    I have a better idea : invest that money in the thousands of Canadians who were laid off because of the pathetic leadership under Jim and Mike.

  • Wizzy

    Wow BB sure is investing in Canada. And all it took was a 100% subsidy!

  • techie01

    Nova Scotia ? Come on if its one thing everyone’s learned its water and electronics don’t mix best to keep it on dry land.why not put it on the north pole as outpost for northwest passages dominances. And to the lady that’s defending Halifax lets see your resources that aren’t a Wikipedia page that anyone can update.

  • Steven

    It can dip into obscurity in NS as fast as BB10 will across the country

  • coco

    Thorsten Heins = liar
    tell the world the white z10 sold out in UK, and most of the retailer in the uk still got stock – liar!!

  • Mister T

    Halifax, Bedford specifically, needs RIM more than they need them.

    RIM had originally planned to build upwards to 1200 employees but the actual number hovers around 300 to 350.

    It’s a nice office aesthetically, inside and out, but plain and simple, it’s grossly underutilized and more or less a Call Centre. They are some talented individuals but many, if not most, were hired from existing Call Centres so they ended up with barely capable group. As a result, very little development occurs there aside from application testing and some debugging.