BlackBerry Founder and CRTC Head Among List of Most Powerful Canadians

by Knowlton Thomas

This week, Maclean's magazine listed the 50 most important and powerful people in Canada.

Maclean's in this context compiled the Power List "with three broad concepts in mind: institutional clout, capacity for innovation, and timeliness."

The list includes mostly political folks and mostly non-surprises, such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper ranked first. One surprise, however, was Mike Lazaridis not just making the list, but ranking an impressive 10th. Lazaridis founded BlackBerry in 1984 and grew the company into an $80-million worldwide success by 2008, but was equally responsible for the company's collapse up until he was completely removed from the company last year.

No longer attached to BlackBerry, the man's claim to importance and power must instead be drawn from his investments in quantum computing. He was the driving force behind Waterloo's new Quantum Valley and even created a $100-million venture capital firm called Quantum Valley Investments. In fact, given the infinite potential of quantum computing, maybe it's not a surprise Mike Lazaridis made the list. Maybe Lazaridis, as has been argued before, is Canada's most innovative entrepreneur.

Ranking 34th is another fellow in the technology space: Jean-Pierre Blaise, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. In his role, Blaise is responsible for managing Canada's turbulent and oft-criticized wireless sector, balancing the needs and wants of both businesses and consumers. Important and powerful, indeed.

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only... more

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an independent public organization that regulates and supervises the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems. The CRTC does not regulate newspapers, magazines, cell phone rates, the quality of service and business practices of cell phone companies, or the quality and content of TV and radio programs. As an... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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