Author Archives: Aaron Brindle

Black on the Prairies: Carol LaFayette-Boyd’s Story

Editor's note: This Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black-perspectives, and sharing stories from Black Googlers, partners, and culture shapers from across Canada.
LaFayette-Boyd, a Master’s Canada Athletics competitor, atop the podium at a track and field meet. 

Black History Month is an opportunity for all of us to learn about the wide range of Black experiences, and the vital role our community has played throughout Saskatchewan’s shared history for over 100 years. As many of my relatives - especially the younger generation - do not look like me, I want them to be proud of our African heritage and all the contributions of people of African descent. 

In my growing up days we were referred to as various forms of the N-word and ‘Coloured’. I didn’t know us as Black until the Black is Beautiful and Black Power movements came in in the late 1960s. 

My dad’s parents came to Regina from Iowa in 1906. My dad, Karl, was born in Regina in 1907. They homesteaded out near Rosetown – west of Saskatoon in 1911. My mom’s grandparents came to Canada in 1910 from Oklahoma. That year, over 200 people arrived from Oklahoma to Maidstone and Amber Valley, where my great grandparents went. I was born on a farm. There were five born before me and the only one born in a hospital was our second brother who was born in June and it was easy to get there. There was no running water or electricity, but growing up on the farm leaves me with nothing but good memories of fun and harmony. Although, now I cannot go for more than 24 hours without running water.
What it was like being the only Black family and lessons learned 
Being the sixth-born child in my family, it seems that I was protected from name calling as my siblings had taken care of that already. They were always the fastest at track meets held with other communities and it was heard “run N-word run.” My parents taught me the saying that “sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you”. I really took that to heart. They told me that the N-word meant the person felt bad about themselves, so put others down. I looked it up in the dictionary and saw it meant “Stupid person” (but think now I was looking at a different word) – I knew I wasn’t a stupid person so those calling me that felt that way about themselves. As a result, I never felt inferior to others; although I know at times I was treated as inferior to others. In my work in particular, I saw discrimination towards minorities and women and did my best to stand up against it.
Life in School
After my mom passed away, we moved to Regina where my Dad had found work after leaving the farm. In 1956, I was starting grade 9 and I found out many years later that my teacher had instructed the kids to be nice to me. She had not told them that I was Black. I was the only Black student in the six high schools in the city until grade 12 that I know of. There had been other people of African ancestry in Regina, but had left to live in either Calgary or Winnipeg where there was better opportunity for employment. 

One thing that most of us of African descent learned early on in life was that you had to give 200% in whatever you were trying to accomplish whether in school, work, sports, etc. in order to be accepted before others who might only give 50% effort and then the acceptance may not have come anyway. That is not unfamiliar to what many women have faced in competition for work. So a Black woman is facing double barriers. Because of affirmative action rules, hopefully that is changing. 

As a person of African descent, I have always seen myself as a member of the human race and while living in Canada, that was my identity. However, when I lived in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was always aware that I was Black. That did change until after Barack Obama was voted in as President. That moment made it feel like “now we are all members of the human race”. 

I think it is important to know and understand history so we will build on what is good and not repeat what isn’t.

David Archer: Reflections from an Anti-Racist Psychotherapist

Editor's note: This Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black perspectives, and sharing stories from Black Googlers, partners, and culture shapers from across Canada. 

David Archer, MSW, MFT, is an anti-racist psychotherapist from Montreal, Canada (Tiohtià:ke).

Twenty years ago, I was a software engineer. I was fascinated with the ability to transmute lines of code into complex software. Programmers are interested in finding solutions to the endless barrage of error messages that obstruct our everyday apps and platforms. Currently, I am an anti-racist psychotherapist. In this field we also search for logic; within every client’s mind lies a solution that explains the errors they encounter in their lives. The clinician’s job is to elicit solutions. By deciphering the logic of the psyche, we move people to acknowledge their innate gifts and confront the suffering caused by the challenges of living in an imperfect social structure. 

My clinical experiences led me to the following understanding: anti-Black racism is like a trauma response. Much like the trauma survivor who avoids the source of their injury, the racist operates on the basis of a survival response: a fight, flight, or freeze reaction unconsciously activated to deal with a perceived threat to their insecure power structure. 

Within the social structure, racism can never be resolved by attending simple workshops, changing profile pictures on social media, or by corporations providing a superficial interest toward people with darker skin complexions. These kinds of performances only placate political interests rather than eradicating social problems. We require systemic interventions to address our overburdened and defunded health care system. There is an urgent need to transform our society into one that views mental health as a human right; and our leaders must understand the importance of anti-racism to encourage an unremitting conviction towards systemic and substantive change. 

When you hear people say that African-Canadians descended from enslaved people, there is an error in this logic. It refers to the trauma but not to who they were before the traumatization of European colonization. The ancestral Black mother of the human species, “mitochondrial Eve,” lived approximately 200,000 years ago on the African continent. Therefore, the Maafa, the centuries long atrocities of chattel slavery, cannot be seen as the beginning of our story. This is because humanity spent more millennia being melanated in the motherland. 

Thousands of years ago white people descended from the continent of Africa. This provokes an error in the white consciousness so the construct of race is necessary to divide our shared humanity. The only reason why they created a concept of race was to make a group of humans less human. Race was meant to dehumanize groups of people in order to justify genocide, cultural imperialism, and racial capitalism. Stealing the land from Indigenous people, robbing Africans from their own continent, and dissociating from our common origins are ways of reinforcing the deep multigenerational trauma that pervades our society. 

There is a higher chance of being traumatized depending on your social identity. Women face gendered violence at a higher rate and people of colour experience colourism differently from one another. Regardless of our labels, all people can heal. My main approach is called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. But anti-racist psychotherapy is not limited to EMDR; there are a range of approaches that are neuro-affective in nature, or even community based, that still utilize therapeutic memory reconsolidation. When we try something different, changes can happen. 

When people begin to reprocess their racial trauma, the goal is not to force them to stop identifying with their race, but to cultivate radical self-acceptance, revolutionary self-love, and a courageous commitment to improving their community. I have helped people to recover even with the odds stacked against them. In recent years, we have improved mental health awareness and have identified improved forms of trauma treatment. In the next few years we must develop the technology to decolonize our psychotherapy, to target higher order problems in our society, and help our families to break the generational cycles that have plagued them. 

I am old enough to remember not having social media and never hearing of an anti-racist psychotherapist. Imagine what the next 20 years will hold? My job is to help people to make changes in their lives. Once a programmer, always a programmer, debugging through error messages is a life’s work for me. But we need to upgrade our technology. There is a collective responsibility to heal from the trauma of our nations, societies, and families. Healing starts from a simple acknowledgment and sometimes the path can reveal itself. As our technology continues to stimulate our minds, let us have the courage to elevate our hearts as well.

Maps 101: How Google Maps reviews work

When exploring new places, reviews on Google are a treasure trove of local knowledge that can point you to the places and businesses you’ll enjoy most — whether it’s a bakery with the best gluten-free cupcake or a nearby restaurant with live music. 

With millions of reviews posted every day from people around the world, we have around-the-clock support to keep the information on Google relevant and accurate. Much of our work to prevent inappropriate content is done behind the scenes, so we wanted to shed some light on what happens after you hit “post” on a review. 

How we create and enforce our policies 

We’ve created strict content policies to make sure reviews are based on real-world experiences and to keep irrelevant and offensive comments off of Google Business Profiles. 

As the world evolves, so do our policies and protections. This helps us guard places and businesses from violative and off-topic content when there’s potential for them to be targeted for abuse. For instance, when governments and businesses started requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccine before entering certain places, we put extra protections in place to remove Google reviews that criticize a business for its health and safety policies or for complying with a vaccine mandate. 

Once a policy is written, it’s turned into training material — both for our operators and machine learning algorithms — to help our teams catch policy-violating content and ultimately keep Google reviews helpful and authentic. 

Moderating reviews with the help of machine learning 

As soon as someone posts a review, we send it to our moderation system to make sure the review doesn’t violate any of our policies. You can think of our moderation system as a security guard that stops unauthorized people from getting into a building — but instead, our team is stopping bad content from being posted on Google. 

Given the volume of reviews we regularly receive, we’ve found that we need both the nuanced understanding that humans offer and the scale that machines provide to help us moderate contributed content. They have different strengths so we continue to invest tremendously in both. 

Machines are our first line of defense because they’re good at identifying patterns. These patterns often immediately help our machines determine if the content is legitimate, and the vast majority of fake and fraudulent content is removed before anyone actually sees it. 

Our machines look at reviews from multiple angles, such as: 
  • The content of the review: Does it contain offensive or off-topic content? 
  • The account that left the review: Does the Google account have any history of suspicious behavior?
  • The place itself: Has there been uncharacteristic activity — such as an abundance of reviews over a short period of time? Has it recently gotten attention in the news or on social media that would motivate people to leave fraudulent reviews? 

Training a machine on the difference between acceptable and policy-violating content is a delicate balance. For example, sometimes the word “gay” is used as a derogatory term, and that’s not something we tolerate in Google reviews. But if we teach our machine learning models that it’s only used in hate speech, we might erroneously remove reviews that promote a gay business owner or an LGBTQ+ safe space. Our human operators regularly run quality tests and complete additional training to remove bias from the machine learning models. By thoroughly training our models on all the ways certain words or phrases are used, we improve our ability to catch policy-violating content and reduce the chance of inadvertently blocking legitimate reviews from going live. 

If our systems detect no policy violations, then the review can post within a matter of seconds. But our job doesn’t stop once a review goes live. Our systems continue to analyze the contributed content and watch for questionable patterns. These patterns can be anything from a group of people leaving reviews on the same cluster of Business Profiles to a business or place receiving an unusually high number of 1 or 5-star reviews over a short period of time. 

Keeping reviews authentic and reliable 

Like any platform that welcomes contributions from users, we also have to stay vigilant in our efforts to prevent fraud and abuse from appearing on Maps. Part of that is making it easy for people using Google Maps to flag any policy-violating reviews. If you think you see a policy-violating review on Google, we encourage you to report it to our team. Businesses can report reviews on their profiles here, and consumers can report them here

Our team of human operators works around the clock to review flagged content. When we find reviews that violate our policies, we remove them from Google and, in some cases, suspend the user account or even pursue litigation. 

In addition to reviewing flagged content, our team proactively works to identify potential abuse risks, which reduces the likelihood of successful abuse attacks. For instance, when there’s an upcoming event with a significant following — such as an election — we implement elevated protections to the places associated with the event and other nearby businesses that people might look for on Maps. We continue to monitor these places and businesses until the risk of abuse has subsided to support our mission of only publishing authentic and reliable reviews. Our investment in analyzing and understanding how contributed content can be abused has been critical in keeping us one step ahead of bad actors. 

With more than 1 billion people turning to Google Maps every month to navigate and explore, we want to make sure the information they see — especially reviews — is reliable for everyone. Our work is never done; we’re constantly improving our system and working hard to keep abuse, including fake reviews, off of the map. 

Roger Mooking on Black History Month in Canada

Editor's note: This Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black perspectives, and sharing stories from Black Googlers, partners, and culture shapers from across Canada. 

Roger Mooking is host of Man Fire Food and Wall of Chefs judge on Food Network Canada

Black History Month has meant many things to me over the years, and my relationship to it changes almost annually. In my formative years growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Black History Month was a welcome anomaly from my day- to- day reality and something I embraced like a Kardashian to a selfie. Since then, I’ve felt all the emotions for this month, ranging from pride to disdain smeared with a trailer load of aloofness. It’s complicated. It is necessary and important to recognize our heroes and educate every generation. The other side of this algebraic equation has me perpetually asking “who has granted us this opportunity,” given there is an undeniable power-play in this dynamic. There is no “white history month” because well…that history will never be relegated at all and certainly not designated to 28 (9 with a leap year) days of the 365 day calendar.
Mooking is best known as the host of grilling and barbecue show Man Fire Food on Food Network Canada and Cooking Channel. The popular travelling food series showcases a dynamic range of live fire cooking, including whole hog barbecue, lobster boils, Hawaiian emu’s, seafood roasts and more! 

BHM always serves as a great reminder when companies and media outlets who don't reach out the other 11 months of the year call during Black History Month for a contribution from people who got that melanin poppin’. Recently, I’ve observed many more Black faces in front of the camera, and this welcome representation is not something I grew up seeing and it is certainly valuable for the most impressionable formative age Black minds. Unfortunately, although significant, it often feels like performance art as I don’t see the same commitment to that type of representation behind the scenes, in the boardrooms and in the executive levels of these same outlets. This reminder strengthens my resolve to continue doing what I do to level the playing field, which is constantly shifting. Me and my team occupy boardrooms, television sets, creative spaces, studios, and work in a variety of teams in front of, and behind the camera. We are always having to manage the creative commerce minefield with a balance of firm resolve, challenging discourse, and good old fun having.
Over the years, Mooking has garnered many accolades including the prestigious “Premiers Award” for excellence in the field of Creative Arts and Design, a Gourmand World Cookbook Award, a Socan Classics Award and countless “Best Of” mentions. 

It is wholly common, so much so, that it has become our expectation, that I am asked to participate in a campaign “for my perspective,” only to have my perspective being perceived as too niche or not mass market enough. This is when my curry chicken becomes a burger. The confusion is mind numbing because as I walk the streets of this beautiful country, I hear a vast array of languages being spoken, I find authentic restaurants representing every corner of the globe, and see increasing numbers of babies being born of diverse parents. It is very clear, and the statistics support the fact, that the “mass market” and “my perspective” is not what it was when I first arrived in Canada at 5 years old. I’ve observed this shift across the country in major, secondary, and rural communities. Yet, I am still mostly still facing the same discussions in these business environments that I was having 2 decades ago. Although the disconnect is incredibly frustrating, my commitment strengthens with every encounter, as they are numerous and often. Hopefully they will not be as numerous or as often for my kids' kids generation. Maybe by then, dynamics and representation in favour of marginalized communities will shift enough for there to be need for a “white history month” and my daughters will be asking Bill Gates great grandkids how they feel about it.

Supporting communities across Canada in 2021

For the last 20 years, Google Canada has been investing in the communities where we live and work, through the Community Grants program. The program supports nonprofits across Canada that are helping their communities expand economic opportunity, learn new skills, and address areas of critical need like mental health, education and food insecurity. 

In 2021, our Canadian sites donated over $750,000 in Community Grants to 30 organizations across the country that are helping make their community a better place. 

Learn more about the organizations we supported last year: 

Toronto, ON 
Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant services (AWO) offers settlement services to newcomers and refugees in the Greater Toronto Area, with a special focus on women, their families, refugees and people who have experienced war and persecution. 

Ottawa, ON 
The Boys & Girls Club of Canada provides safe, supportive places where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life. 

Black Boys Code supports underserved black communities by providing basic digital literacy training and an educational pathway to a career in technology. 

Classroom Champions brings together athletes and teachers to facilitate curriculum and mentorship programs for kids that are social emotional learning (SEL) focused, founded by Olympic Gold Medalist, Steve Mesler, and Ph.D. educator, Dr. Leigh Parise. 

Toronto, ON 
Daily Bread is a food bank that works with different agencies to offer a range of food programs, in their mission to fight poverty and end hunger in Toronto. 

Montreal, QC The École de technologie supérieure (ETS) - part of the Université du Québec network - specializes in training future engineers and researchers to meet the needs of the industrial environment.

Waterloo, ON Food4Kids works to provide packaged healthy bags of food for kids aged 1-14 that experience chronic hunger. 

Toronto, ON Fora (previously G(irls)20) works to place young women at the centre of the decision-making process through education and training, building networks and access to unparalleled opportunities. They offer three signature programs - Global Summit, Girls on Boards and Next Level - that focus on leadership development. 

Toronto, ON 
Hackergal offers programs that teach girls how to code and learn to apply their coding skills on different levels. Canadian girls in grades 6-9 are invited to test their skills and participate in Hackergal’s Hackathon competitions. 

Toronto, ON 
hErVolution creates opportunities for the next generation of women in STEM by connecting them with leaders in the industry for career support. 

Thunder Bay, ON 
Indige-Spheres supports the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples by empowering Indigenous youth via initiatives including arts and crafts, awareness campaigns and other activities designed to foster community relations. 

Six Nations of the Grand River, ON 
Indspire invests in the education and long-term development of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada with a vision to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and inspiring achievement. 

Montreal, QC 
Kids Code Jeunesse encourages the next generation to code, create and communicate, with a goal to help educate Canadian children on digital skills, like block-based coding and computational thinking. 

Toronto, ON 
Kind Republic (IMDOINGIT) supports underserved black communities to achieve growth by creating safe spaces and opportunities for black youth. 

Kitchener, ON 
KW Counselling Services is a multi-service agency offering several types of support for community members, including individual, couples and family counselling. 

Toronto, ON 
The Lifelong Leadership Institute supports Canadian youth of Jamaican, Caribbean and Black heritage in developing leadership competence and achieving personal success. 

Ottawa, ON 
The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) helps new immigrants settle into Canada by providing multi-faceted programs and services through various partnerships, aimed at creating a healthy and inclusive space for newcomers. 

Montreal, QC 
The OSMO Foundation supports the development and international growth of Montreal’s startup ecosystem by encouraging collaboration as well as knowledge transfer and know-how between different community actors. 

Scarborough, ON 
Parents Engaged in Education offers training and events to encourage parental involvement in their children’s educational journey while giving parent council members the resources to better partner with school administrators. 

Kitchener, ON 
Carizon focuses on supporting families by strengthening their mental health and wellbeing by offering services in more than 70 locations that specialize in areas like children’s mental health, youth development and family counselling among others. 

Waterloo, ON 
SHAD is a month-long STEAM and entrepreneurship focused program empowering grades 10 and 11 students across Canada. It is held in the summer across 19 Canadian university campuses. 

Toronto, ON 
TechSpark is Canada’s first tech and design school that offers culturally relevant and responsive education to children of colour, girls, women and teachers. Their services include specially designed curriculums and workshops for both teachers and students. 

Montreal, QC 
Technovation offers programs that empower young women, aged 8–18 , to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. The company was created in Silicon Valley in 2009 and established a presence in Montreal in 2014. 

Kitchener, ON 
The Healing of the Seven Generations provides support for Indigenous people by helping them address the intergenerational effects of Canada’s residential school system by developing self-help approaches, therapeutic healing programs and community training sessions. 

Toronto, ON 
The Neighborhood Organization (TNO) is a multicultural social services organization that offers a range of community-based services to residents of Thorncliffe Park and surrounding communities. 

Montreal, QC 
Hestia Academy is an online academy that enables young people to take control of their education in an online environment that fosters community engagement. 

Toronto, ON 
United Way of Greater Toronto provides support and safety for underserved communities facing significant barriers to bettering their circumstances in the GTA by prioritizing collaborations with local residents and partners to support BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+ communities and people living with disabilities. 

Montreal, QC 
UpStartED provides youth aged 12-18 with equitable access to educational experiences by supporting them in making positive impacts on their communities via social innovation through programs that enable them to tackle complex, real-world challenges. 

We Matter provides safe spaces for Indigenous youth to connect, learn and implement youth led initiatives that help amplify Indigenous voices. 

Alongside businesses, local organizations and nonprofits, we look forward to continuing to help our communities into 2022 and beyond. 

Applications are now open for the second Google Cloud Accelerator Canada Cohort

We’re inviting Canadian cloud-native technology startups to apply for the second Google Cloud Accelerator Canada cohort. The intensive 10-week virtual bootcamp helps startups prepare for the next phase of growth and development in their journey. 

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen just how important the role of cloud technology is in almost every sector. From healthcare to education, retail to manufacturing, cloud technology keeps us connected, and helps us maintain continuity in our schools, work and businesses. 

We know the need for cloud-based solutions will continue to grow, that’s why we launched the first Google Cloud Accelerator Canada last year, entirely dedicated to supporting cloud-native technology startups. The accelerator was the first of it’s kind at Google, designed to bring the best of our programs, products, people and technology to startups doing interesting work in cloud. 

“We are thrilled to be at the start of our second journey in meeting and building meaningful relationships with this new Google Canada Accelerator Cloud cohort,” said James Lambe, Managing Director of Google Cloud Canada. 

Last year, twelve startups were selected for our inaugural cohort, representing a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality and real estate. We worked with founders and their teams to help solve some of the top challenges facing their startup and provided 1:1 mentorship from an array of Google Cloud experts. We also offered support in AI/ML, design/UX, Android, web, product strategy, sales, marketing, and more. 

Today, we’re excited to announce that applications are now open for the second Google Cloud Accelerator Canada. The 10-week virtual accelerator will offer cloud mentorship and technical project support, as well as deep dives and workshops on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for cloud startup founders and leaders. 

The Accelerator is best suited for funded, revenue generating startups who have a minimum of five employees and are well-positioned for their next phase of growth. In order to ensure Google can provide meaningful value, startups should aim to leverage either Cloud or AI/ML technologies in their product, service, or operations, or show an interest in leveraging these technologies in the future. 

Applications are now open until March 1, 2022 and the accelerator will kick off this April. Interested startups leveraging cloud to drive growth and innovation are encouraged to apply here

Speaking our language: The importance of a Mandarin Pixel 6 ad with Simu Liu

It’s 2001 and Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” is blaring from car radios, Drake made his debut on “Degrassi: The Next Generation”, we were all recovering from the shock of 9/11. And Harry Potter first appeared on movie screens giving us the license to believe in magic. Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to do a space walk. And yet, we could only take fuzzy, grainy photos with our cell phones. 

Twenty years later, the world has changed, online and off. The Harry Potter crew are no longer children and we’ve moved from Nickelback to The Weeknd. The hit musical Come from Away is returning to the stage to remind us that human connection and kindness still define us as Canadians. And wow, can we ever take a high quality photo with our new cell phones (especially with the Pixel, naturally). 

Google Canada has changed, too. This month marks the 20th anniversary of Google’s arrival in Canada. And if you don’t remember the pomp and circumstance around the event, it’s because there wasn’t any. 

Google Canada began with a single hire in a small workspace in Toronto in 2001 and a few short years later, Google opened its Montréal office. In 2005, Google set up shop in Canada’s technology hub, Waterloo, Ontario, and over the years we have become a part of the Waterloo region technology community, contributing volunteer hours to STEM education programs and hiring engineers to build Google products that Canadians and people around the world use every day. And now, Google Canada is home to more than 2,500 employees. 

We’ve had our share of adventures - bringing maps to the north, helping Canadian businesses tap into the digital economy, opening Cloud regions in Montréal and Toronto to serve Canadian businesses, introducing the world to Canadian creators on YouTube and building new offices in Waterloo, Toronto and Montréal. For the past twenty years, we’ve been fortunate enough to help Canadians search, grow and connect to the world around them using Google products and services. 

Creating opportunity for all Canadians 
During our time here, Google Canada has been investing in the communities where we live and work, through Community Grants, Google for Startups Accelerator programs, and investments in digital skills training. Over the last 20 years, Google has invested $25 million in Canadian non profits, looking to expand economic opportunity and to help Canadians learn new skills, through commitments to organizations like NPower Canada and ComIT

And we have a long history of working closely with community partners and organizations across Canada to make STEM programs accessible to all students. In 2021, we reached more than 200,000 Canadian learners through STEM outreach and we trained approximately 4,000 educators in CS First. Our STEM and CS First outreach is orchestrated by Google Canada in conjunction with The Cobblestone Collective and supplemented by our Google Canada volunteers to support their local communities. 

 A home for Canadian engineering excellence 

Canada has been synonymous with top notch computer science and engineering for more than 50 years. And most recently, AI research and advancement. It’s for this reason that in 2013 Google welcomed Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer in the field of deep learning, to the Google Toronto office. And in 2016, Google Research started a Canadian centre of AI excellence by bringing Google Brain to Montréal. Google Brain is a deep learning artificial intelligence research team dedicated to artificial intelligence and every day, these world-leading teams tackle some of the biggest technological challenges of our time. 

Google Canada engineers have conceived of, developed, and implemented innovative products that many Canadians might take for granted: 
  • In 2011, Google Canada engineers played a key role in the development of the first Gmail app for iOS, bringing a Gmail app to the world for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
  • The Cloud Healthcare API, developed by the Cloud Healthcare & Life Sciences team in Waterloo since 2017, allows healthcare customers to organize and analyze their healthcare data in a scalable, compliant and privacy sensitive way. In 2020, the Cloud Healthcare API became widely available to healthcare organizations around the world. 
  • Our Safe Browsing team in Montréal protects over 4 billion devices worldwide each year, delivering millions of warnings a month about phishing scams and other online threats. 
Providing platforms for Canadian success stories: 
For over 20 years, Google has helped Canadian businesses of all sizes use our digital tools to grow and reach customers across the globe. Before COVID-19, making the transition to digital was aspirational for most business owners. When the pandemic upended all of our lives, it became essential. To better understand how Google products helped Canadian workers and businesses in 2020, Google commissioned independent consultancy Public First to take a look and they found that Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide an estimated $26 billion in economic activity for over 600,000 businesses in Canada. And in 2020 alone, the total economic impact of Google products and services in Canada is equivalent to 1.3% of total GDP, or the equivalent of supporting 235,000 jobs. 

 And YouTube has facilitated the rise of the Canadian creator economy, helping content creators build sustainable businesses on the platform. A report by Oxford Economics estimates that in 2020, YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed approximately $923 million to Canada’s GDP. In that same period YouTube supported the equivalent of 34,100 full-time employment jobs across Canada. Access to YouTube’s open platform continues to create a real and positive impact on the wider Canadian economy, and we can’t wait to watch the next generation of Canadian creators grow, create and connect on the platform. 

This month, Google Canada is officially 20 years old and more than 2,500 Googlers strong. We’re working, living, and growing in communities across this country. We’re delivering innovations that are helping people through the toughest times of their lives. And we’re doing all of that as we stay committed to the same goal we were founded on: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. 

It only seems fitting that to celebrate the past 20 years, we take a look back at the most interesting searches over these two decades, to reflect back what Canadians have been curious about. And it turns out, what we’re most curious about is us. At its heart, Google is a place for people to ask questions – about ourselves, current events, and the world we are striving to create. So, after 20 years of Googling, we just wanted to say to all Canadians: thanks for asking. 

Here’s to everything that comes next.