Briefing

Communitech cancels Waterloo Region’s True North Festival

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“It is out of an abundance of caution, and with much disappointment, that we concluded that cancelling this year’s event is the right thing to do,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech, in a statement. It is the latest big tech conference to be cancelled, after Collision and Shopify Unite, both of which were planned for Toronto, and Texas-based SXSW. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The tech community has been reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus, with the cancellation of 265 conferences and counting. Apple, which reported today that an employee in its European headquarters in Ireland tested positive for COVID-19, saw its stock dip Monday, though it was up over three per cent in Tuesday afternoon trading. Tech companies have been on the front lines of both preemptive and proactive responses: Amazon has created a US$5-million fund to support small businesses around its Seattle headquarters struggling with a dramatic slowdown since the company instructed its employees to work from home. It has also pledged US$1 million, along with Microsoft and others, to help those without health insurance or sick leave, people with limited English proficiency, communities of colour and health-care and gig-economy workers.