TECHNATION and its members are quite bullish and applaud the Federal Government’s plan for our nation’s economic recovery. Budget 2021 signals the Government of Canada’s recognition that the technology industry plays a mission-critical role in Canada’s economy, driving investment and meaningful in-demand jobs.
Digital as a national strategy is non-negotiable, just like the security and defense of our nation. Today the Government has ‘nailed’ this reality. Canada has been losing ground for the past decade (Bloomberg, WEF, UN rankings) and must invest in our nation’s future talent. Canada’s Digital Adoption Program is ‘on target’ to impact our tech sector’s global competitiveness and our nation’s future prosperity laying out significant investment and a number of critical areas to accelerate technology adoption, and digitization across the SME, Canada’s GDP engine.
We are especially pleased to see the commitment of significant support for Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) which are critical for Canada’s overall economic recovery. We are thrilled about this new injection of $2.2 billion into the Canada Digital Adoption Program, which will create thousands of jobs for young Canadians and help as many as 160,000 SMEs adopt new digital technologies and access much needed grants, advisory support and training to buy technology.
We are pleased to see that the government is committed to meaningfully invest in technology and innovation adoption. TECHNATION stands ready to assist in developing a plan of action.
The additional $1 billion investment in Digital Government, will accelerate the digital transformation of our Federal Government’s 40+ departments, and ensure the government serves business and its citizens, in a way a nation with over 60 million online devices expects. If the government heeds our advice to ‘buy tech, not build tech’, this investment will further advance the significant tech innovation in Scale-ups, SMEs and large corps across the nation and again, strengthen the sector on a global scale.
TECHNATION has long supported the application of GST/HST but consideration must be given to the fact that collecting it is more complex than in traditional retail settings, so we have concerns on the rapid implementation timeline. We encourage Finance Canada to take time to consult with companies who will need to apply this new taxation, while educating the public and vendors. We also continue to support Canada’s multilateral approach on a digital services tax and hope that progress is made to reach an agreement with the OECD on cross-border digital taxation by mid-2021.
Finally, TECHNATION, as a national facilitator of numerous ESDC Future workforce and skills development programs since 2018 including Career Ready, Future Skills, AICSI (Artificial Intelligence & Cybersecurity Skills Initiative) and Cybersecurity, is also delighted to see massive funding commitment for training and skills development in Budget 2021 as talent is now a global barrier, and critically important resource to the success of the technology industry, while impacting every industry in Canada and a driving force behind the pandemic recovery.