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Recognize Code as Canada's Third Official Language

This petition had 140 supporters estimates that there will be a one million-person job gap in programming by 2020 in North America alone. Meanwhile, the technology sector in Canada is booming and software is at the core of nearly every industry. A recent report by Forbes found that programming-related jobs account for the largest category for job openings in North America.

Coding is an integral part of the modern workplace, and, akin to speaking French, is a skill that is highly sought after by Canadian companies. Yet talent is scarce, and as technology companies continue to grow, so too will the need for coders to fill critical roles. An inability to fill this need will have a serious negative economic impact.

That is why we are petitioning the Canadian federal government to recognize "Code" as Canada’s third official language. Enforcing this concept means making coding mandatory learning for students, starting as early as grade three, to increase job opportunities upon graduation. Computer skills are central to Canada’s economic sustainability, yet computer science courses in high school have been historically overlooked.

Why discuss Code as a language? While Code may not be considered a language in the traditional sense, it can be argued that it is taught in much the same way, with the exception that one learns how to speak to machines instead of to people. Similar to traditional languages, the language of Code even has unique dialects: Ruby, Swift, Javascript, Python, Objective-C, and more. These distinguish one group of programmers from another, depending on what type of software is being built or manipulated.

Canada needs to come together to do what no other country has done before: put code literacy on equal footing with other necessary skills taught to students. We need to open more eyes to the opportunities these skills unlock.

We need to recognize Code as Canada's third official language.

Please sign this petition if you agree that coding is an essential skill and should be incorporated as Canada's third official language.

P.S. View our op-ed piece in BetaKit here:

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