Ontario Legislative Wrap-Up and 2023 Innovation Policy Outlook
This time of year, you’ll hear a lot of bells ringing inside the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park. They are not part of the holiday decorations that adorn the nearly 130-year-old building, or instruments used by local school groups during their lunchtime choir presentations on the grand staircase. Instead, these bells ring to summon MPPs to the chamber to participate in the final votes of the session before the winter break. Today, the bells stopped ringing as the house officially rose, releasing MPPs back to their ridings until after Family Day in February 2023.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is matched by the end of year rush at the legislature. It’s been a busy year for parliamentarians in Ontario. Coming off an election win in June and a second majority mandate, Premier Doug Ford and his government had a busy fall session, with healthcare, education, and labour strife dominating the agenda.
At CCI’s Innovation Day at Queen’s Park in November, we focused our conversations with elected leaders and civil servants on the opportunities and challenges that await the Ontario government in 2023, and how the government must help innovative firms navigate uncertain economic circumstances over the next year. In our meetings with Treasury Board President Prabmeet Sarkaria, Public and Business Service Delivery Minister Kaleed Rasheed, Red Tape Reduction Minister Parm Gill, and Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity Associate Minister Charmaine Williams, our message was clear: innovators need access to skilled talent, growth capital, and new customers, to weather the storm that awaits them and all growing businesses in 2023.
Looking back at 2022, it was a big year for agency growth inside the Broader Public Service, which opens the door for more strategic supports by government entities in the year to come to fuel economic growth in our innovation sector. Both Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) and Supply Ontario are now up and running to support Ontario businesses, and a rebranded Venture Ontario is building momentum on its renewed mandate.
Looking to 2023, our number one priority will be ensuring Ontario’s high-growth firms have wind at their back to weather uncertain capital markets and economic storms on the horizon. As we have always done, CCI will continue to summon the government’s attention to the priorities of high-growth businesses, and advocate for strategies that increase access to the resources and strategies they need to scale-up.
In other words, we’ll keep ringing the bells on behalf of innovators in this province.
For more information about CCI’s advocacy in Ontario, contact Dana O’Born, Vice President of Strategy and Advocacy at the Council of Canadian Innovators.