TECHNATION Statement in Reaction to the Federal Government’s 2023 Fall Economic Statement

MISSISSAUGA, ON (Nov 28, 2023) – In response to the Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement, TECHNATION acknowledges the challenges faced by Canadians due to elevated housing costs and consumer prices placing immense strain on families. While the Government’s emphasis on strengthening public health care is crucial in these challenging economic times, its investment priorities in financial services, resilient infrastructure, and clean tech neglect essential investment needs in the technology sector.

For technology to continue playing its role as a critical enabler of faster, cheaper, and safer public service delivery, the federal government must invest urgently and significantly in IT infrastructure. The recent audit by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada revealed the outdated state of the federal government’s IT infrastructure, with only 38 per cent of government IT systems deemed satisfactory, requiring immediate action. Canada’s fall in the UN’s e-Government Survey from 3rd place in 2010 to 32nd in 2022 underscores the urgency for digital government transformation. Canadians deserve digitally enabled services that are accessible globally, and this right is non-negotiable.

The Government’s plan to modernize and digitize services, outlined in Minister Beech’s Citizens’ Services mandate letter, requires significant investment in IT infrastructure to be successful. We strongly emphasize the need for a digital-first approach, improved accessibility, measurement, reporting of service standards, and expedited implementation of the Canadian Digital Service across all government sectors.

We are concerned about the Government’s plans to amend the Competition Act, impacting Canadians’ right to repair. The lack of necessary consultation is hindering informed positions on this nuanced issue. It is crucial to engage with the tech industry before advancing this legislative plan. Drawing from our recent experience with tech industry-defining policy files, the Government needs to better collaborate with the industry during the early stages of policy formulation rather than limiting feedback opportunities to legislative appeals after tabling bills and regulations. The handling of Bill C-27 serves as an illustrative example of this challenge.

We express grave concerns over the government’s unilateral pursuit of a Digital Services Tax (DST), raising serious issues on multiple fronts. The decision to proceed without addressing the concerns within the OECD Inclusive Framework negotiations is alarming. We firmly believe that the OECD is the most suitable entity to devise a long-term, globally coordinated solution to the intricate challenges posed by taxing the digital economy. We strongly urge the Government of Canada to reassess its stance and actively engage in these international discussions. It is imperative to reach a fair and effective solution that not only serves the interests of all stakeholders but also upholds Canada’s international commitments and trade relationships.

TECHNATION’s consistent advocacy and our previous budget submissions from 2021, 2022 and 2023 emphasizing modernizing public sector procurement, enhancing contracting flexibility, and facilitating small business access align with our ongoing calls for an imminent focus by the government on technological advancement and innovation.

We renew our call for the Government to drive innovation, economic growth, and inclusivity in Canada’s digital landscape. TECHNATION also calls for collaboration in developing a national digital strategy, rural broadband investments, tech sector workforce development, and enhanced cybersecurity measures. It is through these concerted efforts with our industry that Canada will truly thrive in the evolving digital era.

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:

For more information:
Sarah Coombs
Cell: 416-729-8550