TECHNATION Statement in Reaction to Ontario’s 2023 Fall Economic Statement
MISSISSAUGA, ON (Nov 6, 2023) – TECHNATION, Canada’s leading national technology association, acknowledges and applauds the Government’s focus on healthcare investments announced in the Ontario 2023 Fall Economic Statement. While we recognize these efforts, TECHNATION urges the Ontario Government to explore additional avenues, especially in addressing healthcare staffing shortages through innovative technological and patient care approaches.
Reflecting on the “Ontario Onwards: Action Plan 2021,” which introduced various initiatives aimed at improving programs and bolstering frontline government services, including healthcare and Service Ontario, and expanding broadband access by 2025, TECHNATION reinforces the importance of prioritizing the government’s commitment to digitization and data-driven decision-making. Such efforts place Ontario at the forefront in an increasingly digital landscape.
However, TECHNATION notes the lack of substantial follow-up actions by the Government of Ontario in implementing critical aspects of this Action Plan. Notably that Ontario has not made the needed progress in improving government purchasing, a mandate that Supply Ontario owns and needs to stand up an effective procurement framework to deliver on.
Amid the housing availability and the cost-of-living crises, the Government has continued to prioritize investments in physical infrastructure, particularly the establishment of the Ontario Infrastructure Bank aimed at bolstering purpose-built rental housing, long-term care homes, and infrastructure in various sectors. While these investments are commendable, TECHNATION maintains that without similar investment in technology, these initiatives may face critical delays and/or vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity remains a threat exposing government infrastructure (and citizen services) to cyber-attacks, a concern exacerbated by a recent report citing a 600 per cent rise in cybercrime over the last three years.
Technology is a critical enabler for the Government to deliver its priorities and to improve service delivery to the citizens of Ontario. Technology investment is an essential catalyst for progress to enable cost-effective, expeditious, secure, and efficient government services.
In previous budget submissions from 2021, 2022 to 2023, TECHNATION has consistently advocated for modernizing public sector procurement, enhancing contracting flexibility to attract more investments, and facilitating small business access to procurement opportunities. These recommendations align with TECHNATION’s continued call for greater government focus on technological advancement and innovation.
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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 $242 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 45,000 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 717,590 jobs and invests $10.3 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer. TECHNATION was formerly the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). For more information: www.technationcanada.ca
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