Canada’s Federal Budget 2017 in review

5 key aspects related to technology

On Wednesday Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the 2017 Federal budget that, at its core, spoke to the impact Innovation and Technology continues to have on our ever changing world.

“Everyday folks who work hard to provide for their families are worried about the future,” Morneau said in his speech to the House of Commons.

“They’re worried that rapid technological change, the seemingly never-ending need for new skills and growing demands on our time will mean that their kids won’t have the same opportunities that they had. And who can blame them?” the minister said. 

Despite projecting a deficit of Cdn$28.6 billion this coming fiscal year Minister Morneau tabled the following key initiatives which the Liberal government views as imperative to facilitate the change necessary in the Canadian workforce:

  1. Skills: New agency to research and measure skills development, starting 2018-19.

  2. Innovation: $950 million over five years to support business-led “superclusters.”

  3. Startups: $400 million over three years for a new venture capital catalyst initiative.

  4. AI: $125 million to launch a pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

  5. Coding kids: $50 million over two years for initiatives to teach children to code.

(source: cbc.ca)

They have included $5.2 billion for skills development with government planning to help Canadians adapt their skill set to match a rapidly changing economy.

The Federal budget 2017 also seeks:

  • To encourage Canadians currently out of work to go back to school or retrain without the fear of giving up their employment insurance benefits;
  • Make it easier for these adults to get student loans and grants; and
  • Do more to encourage the country’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Despite these efforts many are expressing extreme skepticism at the government’s proposed budget objectives – siting that it does not include enough to bring about the change sought. What are your thoughts?

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