Mississauga, ON (April 28, 2022) – TECHNATION, Canada’s leading technology association, is pleased to see some investments in supporting the digital economy including support for SMEs in today’s 2022 Ontario Plan to Build Budget but overall this budget neglects one of Ontario’s most important economic drivers.

TECHNATION will continue to advocate for the Ontario Government to invest in digital government, tech talent development and digital healthcare. Ontario’s tech industry (including large, medium and small enterprises), is a driver of Ontario’s economic recovery and creator of innovative, high-quality, well-paying jobs, setting up our province for sustainable, long-term success. To see the full list of our recommendations to the Ontario Government click here.

In Budget 2022, TECHNATION is pleased to see the following tech-related investments:

  • Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): investing nearly $107 million over 3 years in new critical technology initiatives to support access to and commercialization of these technologies.
  • Creating an Entrepreneurship Council to focus on a range of themes that will support the development of a dedicated Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • Increasing venture capital funding from $100 million to $300 million to build Ontario’s competitive advantages in key sectors.
  • Introduction of socio-economic procurement through the Building Ontario Business initiative to create more meaningful social procurement for the Ontario Government, including both the Ontario Public Sector and Broader Public Sector Organizations.
  • $23.9 million to modernize Ontario’s vehicle registration process by investing in the Digital Dealership Registration program.
  • Investing $15.1 million over 3 years in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program which nominates applicants for permanent residence who have the skills to match the province’s labour market needs.
  • Investing $1 billion annually in employment and training programs to help people retrain and upgrade their skills as the province continues to support better jobs and opportunities for Ontario workers.
  • $15 million over 3 years in a new Life Sciences Innovation Program to develop and scale-up the commercial potential of therapeutics and medical and digital technologies.

Digital Health

As part of over $40 billion investment in the next 10 years in hospital and health care infrastructure supporting more than 50 major hospital projects, we continue to call on the Ontario Government to make priority investments in digital health to develop and implement the provincial health data and digital strategies to improve efficiencies and further Ontario’s health system transformation and digital health innovation.

Also, we call for funding to be spent on further investments in innovative and technology-based areas such as cyber, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This will further enable access to virtual care, utilizing existing and proven digital health technologies available to the Ontario health care system.

Tech Sector: Driving Ontario’s Economic Recovery 

Ontario’s technology sector is an economic engine in all regions of the province. We are encouraged by the previously announced nearly $4 billion to support high-speed internet access to every community in Ontario by the end of 2025; this is crucial to ensure technology adoption throughout Ontario.

Ontario’s tech sector must be a priority and the time is now. This means a coherent approach that combines Ontario’s digital transformation with an economic development agenda – fueled by innovative technology businesses that are creating the jobs of today, and tomorrow. The tech sector is hyper-competitive globally. Uncertainty can kill jobs and thwart investment opportunities.

Michele Lajeunesse, Senior Vice-President, Government Relations and Policy, TECHNATION Canada:

“The Government of Ontario must not underestimate the critical role the technology sector plays in managing the uncertainty coming out of the pandemic. Over the past two years, the tech sector has helped keep Ontarians working and the Ontario economy moving. This budget was a missed opportunity for the government to chart its innovation agenda and invest in the tech sector. We stand ready to help the government get this right!”

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TECHNATION is the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. As a member-driven, not-for-profit, TECHNATION unites Canada’s technology sector, governments, and communities to enable technology prosperity in Canada. TECHNATION champions technology prosperity by providing advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities across industry and governments at all levels; connecting Canadian scale-ups with global tech leaders; engaging the global supply chain; and filling the technology talent pipeline.

TECHNATION has served as the authoritative national voice of the $230 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 44,000 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates more than 671,100 jobs and invests $8.0 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer. TECHNATION was formerly the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). www.technationcanada.ca

 Media Contact:

Sarah Coombs