CCI Response to the 2023 Federal Fall Economic Statement
November 21, 2023
Today in Ottawa, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the 2023 Fall Economic Statement. In response, on behalf of our members, Nick Schiavo, CCI’s Director of Federal Affairs, delivered the following statement:
In Today’s Fall Economic Statement, we saw a clear effort from the federal government to curtail spending in the face of challenging economic times. The best possible way for the government to drive economic growth and prosperity is by unleashing the full potential of Canada’s homegrown scale-up companies — domestic innovators who are commercializing research and selling globally.
Last week, over 50 business leaders from across Canada signed an open letter to Minister Freeland calling for action on consumer-directed banking, also known as open banking. Today, we are pleased the Minister heeded the calls from entrepreneurs, policy leaders, and experts, and has embraced a regulatory framework that will drive competition, innovation and consumer choice with essentially no cost to taxpayers. The devil will be in the details, and Canadian innovators stand ready to work hand-in-glove with the government on developing the specific protocols and regulations between now and the 2024 budget, but based on what we’ve seen today, the government deserves credit for making the right decision.
The Fall Economic Statement also contained significant steps on several key files that will support innovators. Implementing the Clean Investment Tax Credit and the Canada Growth Fund will meaningfully disperse capital, drive investment and support innovators who are working to create the low-carbon economy we all want to see. We were also relieved to see the federal government respond quickly in addressing the consequences of a recent court ruling that would have exposed innovative companies to enormous tax liabilities, undermining key innovation programs and agencies.
However, we were disappointed that the Fall Economic Statement did not include an update on the long past due review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit. Streamlining SR&ED to more reliably incentivize innovation and commercialization is something our members have been calling for, and since the 2022 budget, we have been patiently waiting for the promised review. We had also hoped to see new details about the Canadian Innovation Corporation, which has a mandate to drive exactly the kind of high-productivity economic growth that the federal government needs to see right now. Finally, we were disappointed to see no support for growing Canada’s semiconductor industry. Key experts came together with CCI to develop concrete recommendations in SILICAN’s First Steps For Canada report, and we had hoped that the government would see the enormous economic opportunity that semiconductors represent.
We will continue to work closely with the federal government to represent the views of innovators, and develop the policies and programs that will create smart industrial policy and lead to sustained growth in the knowledge-based and data-driven economy.
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