A vision for Yukon as a tech leader

A visitor from Moldova has a dream for the Yukon. He wants to see a strong information and technology sector here that would service big clients from around the world.

A visitor from Moldova has a dream for the Yukon. He wants to see a strong information and technology sector here that would service big clients from around the world while providing good local jobs for bright Yukon minds.

“People will not only rely on mining,” said Vasile Nedelciuc in an interview last week. “Young generations will not leave their location of origin. They will stay in Yukon, work in Yukon, provide different types of services and not rely only on one type of industry, like it was in Moldova in Soviet time.”

Nedelciuc was invited to the Yukon for the research innovation and commercialization workshop hosted by the Yukon Research Centre last week.

His dream is achievable within five or 10 years, he said.

And he’s seen it done before.

Nedelciuc helped to grow an unlikely IT sector in Moldova after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Before that, the primary economic driver was agriculture.

Moldova did have an information and technology sector before the fall, but it mostly serviced the Soviet military industry.

Their software was mostly pirated from the West, said Nedelciuc.

After the fall, the IT industry collapsed. With out-of-date tools, it could not compete on a global stage.

Nedelciuc was an associate professor of computer science before he joined the democratic movement that eventually toppled the communist regime.

He spent 11 years in politics, was a member of the Moldovan parliament and chaired the foreign policy committee.

But eventually he found that he could not accomplish his vision for the country through politics alone, he said.

“The new democracy is not easy to build in an area where for decades we had an authoritarian regime where people lost their links with real life and they were forced to live according to Communist regime rules.”

So with the help of a courageous investor from the United Kingdom, Nedelciuc started an IT company with the goal of providing good jobs to the brightest people in Moldova.

They eyed large U.K and U.S. companies and tailored training and services to those markets.

“They need people who respect deadlines, people who deliver everything in time, people who are very communicative, people who use modern tools and people who are very inventive.”

Staff received free English lessons and training in the most modern Western tools.

The government helped, too, waiving income taxes for employees with a diploma in information technology working in the IT sector.

The company had it’s first great success in 2001 when it co-ordinated the first pay-per-view Internet webcast, an Elton John concert live in Turkey.

Today, Endava employs 1,400 in four countries and has major global clients including top banks and stock exchanges.

Nedelciuc is sure that the Yukon could similarly become an IT hub, servicing major clients on the west coast of North America.

“I’m convinced that many companies located on the western coast of America would prefer working with Whitehorse if you establish good companies here.”

All it would take is some vision, a little government support and some gestation time, said Nedelciuc.

Yukon must first invest in its communications infrastructure, he said.

The government should also provide incentives to attract the best companies and the brightest minds.

It must also invest in training, partnering with the best IT schools to set up a campus here or provide courses online, said Nedelciuc.

“The government should recognize that this sector is important for the country, because now those who are working with IT tomorrow will lead the world.”

The scheme won’t pay off for about 5 or 10 years, he said. But after that, the Yukon would have a strong sector to not only help diversify the territory’s economy but give some of Yukon’s brightest minds a reason to stay home.

“I’m afraid that young people who have started in high schools, many of them dream of working with informatics, with electronics, with aviation, other fields.

“They will look for other cities in Canada or will immigrate to United States to fulfil their dreams. You should think about young generations. You should think about sectors which provide jobs which are very, very efficient, and profitable economically.

“People working in IT, they are not polluting the environment, they are using a very small electricity, and they are working in offices remotely sending different messages resolving problems for big customers.”

Nedelciuc said he hopes Yukoners will step up to make his dream a reality.

“I wish all the best to young Yukoners, and I encourage them to convince or force the government to hear their voice and provide more opportunities for getting jobs locally, and not emigrating. Because you have a wonderful territory. I’ve visited some places around. It’s so nice, very nice. Beautiful.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read