TECHNATION Reacts to the Federal 2024 Budget: Fairness for Every Generation 

MISSISSAUGA, ON (April 16, 2024) –Today, as the Federal Government released their 2024 Budget, “Fairness for Every Generation,” TECHNATION, Canada’s leading technology association, looked forward to increased commitments to the digital economy and investments in innovation. While technology was highlighted throughout the 2024 budget, we feel strongly that Canada needs to accelerate its investments in the tech sector to reflect the urgency of our lagging productivity.

TECHNATION has consistently advocated for improving procurement in collaboration with industry, as well as facilitating small business’ access to government contracts. It is unfortunate that the tech industry will have to wait until the Government’s Fall Economic Statement for details on Budget 2024’s intention to propose procurement targets to boost innovation.

There is a significant imbalance in the Federal Government’s approach to the technology sector that is prioritizing start-ups and entrepreneurs while demonizing “big tech.” As representatives for the entire tech industry in Canada, we know that Canada’s tech sector is an interconnected ecosystem where big tech empowers small tech and encourages scale-ups. Cooperation across this supply chain is critical to the success of Canada’s digital economy.

TECHNATION advocates for fair regulations, and we continue to be deeply disappointed by Canada’s decision to move ahead with the Digital Services Tax (DST), especially concerning the retroactive implementation of the DST, backdating to January 2022. In addition, the Government is seeking a global minimum tax from multinational corporations, a double whammy on “big tech” to the tune of $12.4 billion over the next five years.

TECHNATION reiterates our support of the new AI Compute Access Fund and Canadian Sovereign Compute Strategy to support AI adoption across our entire economy. In addition, we are pleased to see a $600 million investment over the next four years to modernize and improve the Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax incentives. As Canada already leads globally in technological R&D, we look forward to further Government commitments to digital talent and AI adoption.

We applaud the Government’s implementation of its updated cybersecurity strategy, supported by $11.1 million over five years. Investments in cybersecurity are vital to protecting Canada’s critical infrastructure, and the investment of $4.4 billion over 20 years will significantly bolster our defence capabilities. Additionally, TECHNATION supports the Government’s additional investments of over $11 billion for CSE and GAC that will enhance our ability to deter national security threats.

TECHNATION was also heartened to see the commitment to digital skills development in Budget 2024, but upon a closer look, the funding for coding skills for kids through CanCode is less than in previous years, and the $50 million investment over four years to the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program for AI impacts doesn’t begin until 2025 and is not significant enough to address the urgent need for these skills across Canada.

“Canadians deserve more action from our government to accelerate AI adoption and fast-track skills development to support a productive, digitally enabled economy.,” said Michele Lajeunesse, TECHNATION’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Policy. “Canada can build a world-class digital government supported by industry collaboration. It is disappointing that the Government of Canada has not prioritized investments or delivered on critical initiatives to close the productivity gap.”

TECHNATION proudly supports establishing the Right to Disconnect and has implemented the policy within our organization. In a digital economy with constant notifications and shrinking employee downtime, we applaud the Federal Government’s commitment to support this right in federally regulated sectors.

Canada continues to fall behind in digital transformation, resulting in an increase in overall technical debt. Following this budget, TECHNATION sees an opportunity to further its collaboration to achieve our shared goals, including increased digital government services, AI adoption, and digital skills development.

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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