CCI Response to updates on SR&ED, BDC and the Canadian Innovation Corp.

December 19, 2023

Today, the Department of Finance provided several updates on key federal government initiatives that impact the Canadian innovation economy. In response to the news, CCI President Benjamin Bergen issued the following statement, on behalf of our members:

"Today’s statement from Minister Freeland and Minister Champagne's departments is, frankly, disappointing news for the leaders of the Canadian innovation economy. More than anything else, Canada needs productivity growth to drive higher wages and broad-based prosperity. It’s hard to see how today’s announcement achieves that goal. 

"When it was first announced, we applauded the government for creating the Canadian Innovation Corporation, and we were excited for the refreshing approach to innovation policy it represented. Nearly two years later we now hear that it will be delayed by a further two years, and in reality it is unlikely to ever be fully established in the way we had hoped.

"In terms of the government’s forthcoming review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit, this is an issue CCI has been championing. In fact, we published a comprehensive policy brief on SR&ED reform more than a year ago, in response to the government’s initial announcement promising to review this keystone innovation tax credit. On behalf of our members, CCI hopes that the review in 2024 will bring real transparency to the recipients of this $3 billion tax incentive, and put Canadian-headquartered innovators front-and-centre. Our recommendations from 2022 are still relevant, and we hope the government will expediently adjust SR&ED criteria to streamline bureaucracy and incentivize intellectual property generation and commercialization.

"In terms of the government’s policy direction for BDC, what we’re hearing today is in line with frustration we’ve heard from high-growth Canadian innovators for years. The fact that the government has heard the concerns we’ve raised about BDC’s lack of risk appetite, and its unwillingness to support our best and brightest companies to allow them to achieve their full potential is positive. The proof will be in the actual decisions of BDC’s leadership team and staff in the months and years ahead, but we hope they are hearing loud and clear that the support they have been delivering thus far is not what Canadian innovators actually need."

Media Contact:
James McLeod

CCI Team Members


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