December 9, 2020
On November 30, the Government of Canada issued its ambitious, all-encompassing Fall Economic Statement focused on supporting Canadians during and beyond the pandemic while investing in an inclusive and sustainable recovery. It was a massive, far-reaching update – 237 pages in all! I won’t attempt to share all the highlights, but three things stood out for me:
- The health of Canadians and our economy go hand in hand. They are not mutually exclusive.
- The Government is committed to investing in and deploying public health measures to get Canadians through the COVID crisis.
- The three-year plan to rebuild the economy will include a substantial investment in skills training for those most affected by job losses and help diversify sectors to include more women and other underrepresented groups
This Economic Update reminds me of the valuable work we are all doing as a Digital Supercluster community and how our projects support many of the key objectives outlined in the government’s update. The collective willingness and ability of our Members to pivot and respond to the pandemic through our COVID-19 Program is only one example of how our Members have answered the call. With the incredible support of our partners, in just three months we committed $60 million in Canadian-made digital technologies that mitigate the effects of the virus, provide rapid screening and detection of cases, deliver virtual care options to seniors and remote communities and to provide mental health supports to those who need it most.
Looking back to the past three years, we have already surpassed many of our five-year goals with a portfolio valued at more than $200 million invested in more than 60 industry-led digital technology projects to advance our leadership in health and to support the growth of our natural resources sector. Notably, our investments represent more than $1 billion in revenue potential for Canadian businesses with 40 per cent of our project teams exploring international opportunities and leveraging their Supercluster investment to attract more capital and build new partnerships.
As we look ahead to 2021 there are likely ongoing challenges as Canadians continue to navigate COVID-19 but there are opportunities – big, bold and meaningful opportunities for Canada and these opportunities are digital. Just as we all ‘leaned in’ to address the urgency of COVID in 2020, as we look ahead to rebuilding our economy we know that our Members will be ready to develop and deploy digital technologies to: :
- Continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians;
- Accelerate the restart of our economy through digitally transformation;
- Drive the success and resiliency of our r natural resources sectors; and
- Create jobs as our Member companies grow and evolve through our projects.
I hope that no matter how you recognize and celebrate the holiday season, that you stay safe and healthy. Thank you for driving your innovations these past couple of years. We are all on to something here and 2021 is setting up to be exceptionally exciting and Canada’s time to shine!