TECHNATION Reacts to Ontario’s 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario

MISSISSAUGA, ON (March 26, 2024) – The technology industry plays a pivotal role in Ontario’s economic landscape, contributing significantly to job creation, innovation, and economic growth. Ontario attracts global talent, fosters entrepreneurship, and is a cutting-edge research and development hub. The tech sector diversifies the provincial economy and continues to position Ontario as a leader in emerging technologies, ensuring its competitiveness in the global market. Today, as the Ontario Government released their 2024 Budget, “Building a Better Ontario,” TECHNATION looked forward to increased commitments to the technology sector and the digital economy through modernization, education, and innovation investments.

TECHNATION has consistently advocated for modernizing public sector procurement, enhancing contracting flexibility to attract more investments, and facilitating small businesses’ access to procurement opportunities. The tech sector can help ensure that Supply Ontario meets its goals of creating a single-window approach, reducing costs, and making it easier for companies of all sizes to work with the government.

TECHNATION advocates that technology is the enabler of the government, delivering on its priorities and effecting improved service delivery to the citizens of Ontario. Emphasizing its role as the catalyst for cost-effective, expeditious, secure, and efficient government services, technology investment is essential for progress.

TECHNATION supports Ontario’s plan to invest $5 million to explore using digital twins to deliver public infrastructure projects. Leveraging digital infrastructure utilizing digital twin technology will improve projects and procurements and modernize the delivery of public infrastructure, effectively reducing costs, creating greater efficiencies, and managing risks.

TECHNATION is heartened to see the commitment to $1 million annually to launch a new Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) in Barrie. This marks the 18th such local innovation-focused organization in the province, stimulating the ICT sector through programs, partnerships, and resources to support technology job creation and the innovation economy.

We applaud the Government’s continued investment in accessible and equitable healthcare for Ontarians, but we know that Ontarians depend on healthcare support outside hospitals. This is why provincial commitments of over $546 million to make healthcare more connected and convenient – including investments in health technology – will help patients receive the right care in the right place.

TECHNATION is pleased to see a $12 million investment to establish a new Health Technology Accelerator Fund to assist healthcare service providers in buying new technologies to improve patient care. In collaboration with Supply Ontario, this fund will provide more opportunities for early adoption of promising new health innovations, bringing them into the system faster so patients can benefit.

We know that developing Ontario’s Ring of Fire region is crucial to improving the quality of life for those communities. TECHNATION supports the Government’s work with its First Nations partners to increase prosperity and improve access to health care, high‐speed internet, and other services. These critical minerals are essential to many of the digital technologies we rely on and that TECHNATION’s members are developing and building.

The investments in housing-supportive infrastructure, including nearly $4 billion in high-speed internet infrastructure investments, help the technology sector in Ontario and allow more Ontarians to participate in the information technology-driven economy. This Government recognizes that new homes need access to high-speed internet just as much as other essential utilities.

As leaders in developing and expanding Canada’s digital workforce, TECHNATION applauds the Government of Ontario’s announcement of an additional $100 million in the Skills Development Fund Training Stream. The Government is also providing $100 million to support STEM programs at public colleges and universities in Ontario to support the next generation of innovators which is critical to our future prosperity.

“While today’s budget didn’t introduce major initiatives for our sector, we know that the technology industry is best poised to succeed when bolstered by investments in technology, support for digital skills and education, and continued commitments to improving healthcare delivery and modernization,” noted Michele Lajeunesse, TECHNATION’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy. “Our province possesses a world-class tech economy, and we look forward to collaborating and working to deliver on digital priorities, supporting the Government’s plans to build a better Ontario.”

Following this budget, TECHNATION sees several opportunities to further the Government’s initiatives through continued collaboration with our industry. There are further ways to operationalize, modernize, and create efficiencies in our shared goals, including improvements to procurement, cooperative tax credits, and digital health interoperability.

TECHNATION and its members in the technology sector look forward to supporting the Ontario Government and its agencies in improved service delivery and protecting data and privacy.

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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:

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Sarah Coombs