I am a Canadian living in Seattle. I moved recently since I got an offer from Microsoft with a pay package I have never seen before in Toronto. I also have another person on my immediate team in the exact same situation as well as many others in sister teams. I am sure the Canadian government is aware of this and aware of how much tax money has been lost due to us leaving.
I would like to propose that the Government add higher incentives for companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple to set up shop in Canada with development centers. I am aware that these companies already have offices in major cities. However, these offices are mainly for selling to Canadians. They are not there to innovate or produce anything new.
One way to do this is to offer a one time or recurring tax incentive for innovative tech companies. These + the deep talent pool in Canada and business friendly rules should attract many companies to the region.
Another option is to open up Canada to more liberal and flexible regulation when it comes to innovation. For example, why not make self driving cars legal TODAY? Why not have Canada become the first country with this technology fully integrated into society. Canada has an opportunity to become a world leader in this field. As a side benefit, there are many companies that would bring their development teams to the region.
A similar idea can be applied with drones. For example, why not let Amazon test out their drone delivery in Canada first. Canadians are envious of Americans due to their access to easy online deliveries from Amazon. Canadian Amazon pales in comparison. Bring drone development to Canada could be a huge boost to innovation as well as have many positive unintended consequences when Amazon expands many of their services to Canada.
Once these companies open offices in Canada, it will also send a ripple effect within the country. All of a sudden we will have many experienced developers moving between these global tech companies. These are the people that are also most likely to start their own companies in the future.
Seattle has a deep talent pool because of exactly the same reasons. Outside of Microsoft, Google and Facebook have large offices in the area. There are also numerous startups and smaller companies attracting talent from all over the world. Canada can and should emulate that model.