How the Feds Can Fuel Prosperity in Budget 2024

February 29, 2024

By Nick Schiavo, CCI’s Director of Federal Affairs

As Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland prepares to unveil the government’s 2024 federal budget, anticipation is growing among the tech leaders I've been speaking with regarding the Liberal government’s strategic vision for the year ahead.

Against a backdrop of formidable challenges – a pressing cost-of-living crisis, waning productivity, and policy imperatives like climate action and national defence – Canada finds itself at a critical juncture. We urgently need a decisive roadmap for economic growth.

The biggest question for the CEOs I speak with is: How will Canada pay for the Canada we wish to see?

At CCI, we spend a lot of time with officials inside government and MPs across all party lines, bringing their attention to the challenges innovators face in scaling their businesses globally. Their success is paramount in ensuring Canada has wealthy and job-generating companies to fuel prosperity and economic security.

Over the past year, our advocacy efforts have centered on advancing tangible policy initiatives aimed at ensuring the competitiveness of Canadian tech on the global stage. This hard work seems to be paying off. Earlier this week, the House of Commons Finance Committee published its Shaping our Economic Future report with key recommendations for the federal government to implement in Budget 2024. I’m pleased to say that at the top of the list are CCI’s recommendations on freedom to operate, capital, R&D and innovation pulled directly from our pre-budget advocacy.

While these terms may be common in our ecosystem, sometimes it’s helpful for us to pause and unpack what some of this verbiage means.

Starting with Smart Industrial Policy: What do we mean by this and why do we call for it.

CCI champions the notion that by helping our most innovative companies compete globally, Canada can become a more prosperous country in the 21st-century economy driven by intangible assets like IP and data. To make it happen, the government needs to take a serious look at key sectors and technologies to ensure we are investing our time and resources where it makes the most sense. Implementing smart policies in the budget like the development of an Artificial Intelligence Commercialization and Intellectual Property Strategy and a greater focus on industry-government collaboration in Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy can help us get there.

Increasing access to customers can include many measures, but the single biggest tool at the government’s disposal is modernizing the federal procurement system to ensure Canadian firms have a fair and competitive chance to secure a contract against often foreign-headquartered incumbents.

Public procurement constitutes 15% of GDP, and if used more strategically to empower emerging firms, it could be a bigger economic development tool than the entire suite of business innovation programs the government has announced since 2015.

CCI’s upcoming report, "Buying Ideas: Procuring Public Sector Innovation in Canada," explores this in depth and offers recommendations to the government on quick wins to increase access to customers for homegrown innovators. Look out for it in mid-March.

Given the continued market volatility, high-interest rates, and geopolitical pressures, our membership continues to signal to us that the federal government must continue to support high-growth firms navigating these uncertain economic times.

At our recent meeting with Minister Freeland focused on SR&ED reform, we discussed how the status quo wasn’t working, and how we need the government to work hand-in-glove with homegrown companies to secure long-term economic security. The Minister seemed to understand the urgency of getting SR&ED right and Canada on a path to prosperity in the 21st-century economy.

When the Minister rises in the House of Commons in a few weeks, we hope to hear a plan from her that supports innovators and positions Canada for long-term prosperity. Canada’s future depends on it.

CCI’s 2024 Federal Pre-Budget Submission can be viewed here. To learn more about CCI’s work in Ottawa or to receive a copy of our media statement following the release of the budget, contact Nick Schiavo at


No items found.

CCI Team Members


No items found.


Get the latest updates

By submitting your information, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.