Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leads the way as Canada courts Amazon

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is laying the groundwork for Canadian cities hoping to persuade tech giant Amazon to set up its second corporate headquarters in Canada.

In a letter personally addressed to company founder Jeff Bezos, Trudeau outlines many reasons why Canada could make a welcoming and profitable home for the US$5-billion project dubbed HQ2.

Trudeau did not name any of the roughly 10 Canadian cities vying for Amazon’s business, but touted the country’s commercial, cultural and social selling points.

The letter mentions Canada’s increased investment in skills and training, ability to educate would-be workers from both at home and abroad, universal health-care program that lowers costs for employers and “progressive,” diverse cities with active arts and culture scenes.

Some of the cities that have submitted bids to Amazon have touched on the same themes, including one joint proposal from Toronto and the surrounding municipalities.

Others, including admitted long-shot candidates Halifax and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., are emphasizing quality of life advantages for the roughly 50,000 people Amazon plans to employ at the second headquarters.