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January 14, 2021

Dear Minister Champagne,

On behalf of the CEOs of more than 130 innovative Canadian companies — business leaders commercializing ideas across all sectors and industries — we would like to congratulate you on your new role as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. As a national business council focused exclusively on issues affecting the Canadian technology sector, we care deeply about the policies, programs and economic leadership of your ministry, and we look forward to a productive relationship working with you in this new role. …

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet, with François-Philippe Champagne replacing Navdeep Bains as Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry.

Minister Bains has been the lead minister responsible for the innovation portfolio for more than five years, and he has been somebody that the Council of Canadian Innovators has worked with extensively.

Following the cabinet shuffle, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen made the following statement:

“I want to thank Minister Bains for his unwavering commitment to Canadian innovators throughout his many years of service to this country. He will be remembered as an innovation minister who often called business leaders directly to understand their challenges, and championed them at the cabinet table. He left a lasting mark by creating programs designed to support high-growth companies in Canada, like the Global Skills Strategy, the National IP strategy, and the groundwork he laid for other important post-pandemic prosperity strategies.

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By Bronte Valk
CCI’s Manager of Government Affairs for Alberta

In March, when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Canada, we all felt the turmoil. First, we felt the fear of the virus, and when the social distancing measures forced many businesses to lock their doors, we felt the economic pain of a global recession.

In Alberta, though, we were already reeling. In February, a trade war between Saudi Arabia and Russia led the global price of crude oil to plummet, causing havoc in Alberta’s energy sector.

But in the face of these daunting challenges, Alberta’s innovation leaders are banding together, determined to help lead us out of crisis by making the province a significant player in the global knowledge-based economy. …

The Council of Canadian Innovators was watching closely Monday as the federal government delivered its Fall Economic Statement.

In addition to updating Canadians on the state of the federal government’s finances, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced new tax and spending measures which will impact the innovation economy.

On behalf of more than 130 high-growth Canadian member companies, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen issued the following statement:

“You can’t tax your way to prosperity, so it’s good to see the government has listened to the leaders of Canada’s high-growth tech sector and understands that stock options are used for talent attraction and retention, and should be kept as competitive as possible. However, leaders of high-growth ‘scale-up’ companies in the Canadian innovation economy need clarity about how the digital service tax and new sales tax measures will impact them. …

Today, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains announced details of the government’s proposed legislation which will update Canada’s data and privacy laws.

Bains emphasized that the proposed law will give Canada the ability to levy the largest fines for data misuse of any G7 country. The proposed law will also create legal requirements for data portability, algorithmic transparency, and use of anonymized data. You can read more details about the legislation here.

Data affects nearly every Canadian business today, but it’s especially relevant to the innovative, domestic technology companies that are members of the Council of Canadian Innovators.

On behalf of more than 130 Canadian companies in the innovation economy, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen issued the following…

Earlier today, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains announced that the federal government is extending the Innovation Assistance Program (IAP) with $155 million in new funding.

In April, the federal government announced IAP as a $250 million fund administered by the National Research Council of Canada to support innovative Canadian businesses hit by COVID-19, especially in cases where a company might not qualify for the federal wage subsidy or other support measures.

In response to the announcement by Minister Bains, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen issued the following statement:

Today’s extension of the Innovation Assistance Program is good news for Canada’s innovative companies. IAP funding has been essential to help many businesses in the technology sector survive during the pandemic.

Today, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Philips delivered the government’s 2020 budget plan.

In response to budget, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen made the following statement on behalf of more than 130 high-growth Canadian companies:

Today’s fiscal blueprint includes several encouraging measures that will help innovative, high-growth companies. On behalf of Ontario’s most innovative, high-growth companies, we continue to call on the government to invest into strategic programs to increase access to talent, capital and customers for Ontario’s biggest job and wealth creators: its homegrown companies.

While we are pleased to see the government prioritizing critical investments in digital health and infrastructure including broadband, these investments need to continue and grow annually so Ontario can catch up with the 21st century global innovation race.

Il est temps pour le Canada de se reconstruire. Nous sommes prets a vous aider.
Il est temps pour le Canada de se reconstruire. Nous sommes prets a vous aider.

Le très honorable Justin Trudeau
Premier ministre
Gouvernement du Canada

27 octobre 2020

Monsieur le Premier Ministre,

Il n’y a pas si longtemps, les Canadiens et Canadiennes participaient à la construction de la nation. Nous avons construit nos propres corridors de transport : chemins de fer, voies maritimes et canaux. Au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, nous avons réussi à opérer une transformation industrielle sous l’effet des mesures prises par les pouvoirs publics.

Nous avons mis au point une infrastructure des communications avant-gardiste d’envergure mondiale, un réseau de télécommunications d’un océan à l’autre dont le temps de réponse est inférieur à la seconde. En créant un opérateur de satellite de télécommunications (Télésat), le plus efficace au monde, pour relever les défis de communication les plus complexes, le Canada est devenu le troisième pays à faire son entrée dans l’espace. Nous avons fondé notre prospérité et notre souveraineté énergétiques en créant des projets hydroélectriques innovants, en développant des technologies de transformation de l’énergie nucléaire (CANDU) et d’extraction du pétrole et du gaz à partir des gisements de sables bitumineux (drainage par gravité au moyen de vapeur ou SAGD). …

It’s time for Canada to do nation building again. We are ready to help. An open letter from more than 100 business leaders.
It’s time for Canada to do nation building again. We are ready to help. An open letter from more than 100 business leaders.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister
Government of Canada

October 27, 2020

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

There was a time Canadians engaged in nation-building. We built our own transportation corridors — railways, seaways, and canals. We successfully implemented a policy-driven post-WWII industrial transformation.

We developed pioneering global communications infrastructure with coast to coast sub-second telecommunications. As the third nation in space, Canadians built the most successful global satellite operator (Telesat) and space communications infrastructure that tackles the world’s most complex communication challenges. We designed our energy prosperity and sovereignty by creating innovative hydro-electric projects, developing transformative technology for nuclear power (CANDU) and oil and gas extraction (AOSTRA’s Sag-D). …

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On Tuesday morning, the Parliamentary Budget Officer published a report titled, “The Innovation Superclusters Initiative — A Preliminary Analysis.”

The report looks at how things are going with the federal government’s $918 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative. The report only captures the first year of a five-year program, but the PBO findings indicate that money has been flowing more slowly than expected. Moreover, the data suggest that the Superclusters won’t achieve anything close to the promised benefits that the government has previously suggested.

In response to the report, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen made the following statement:

“This report affirms concerns that our members have voiced since 2017 that the Supercluster initiative has lacked the clear metrics and commercialization strategies necessary to achieve its bold job creation and economic development goals. …


Council of Canadian Innovators

CCI is Canada’s 21st century business council, advocating for our country’s high-growth, innovative companies. Visit to learn more.

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