This section is fully supported by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Canada is a global leader when it comes to technology. Its commitment to innovation, government incentives to enhance research and development (R&D), the quality of its tech talent pool, its growing number of world-class tech hubs, and its access to the US market makes Canada one of the top places around the globe to do business for technology companies and investors.
With a reputation for having a highly skilled tech workforce, global tech companies are targeting Canadian cities including Montreal, Vancouver and the Innovation Tech Corridor between Toronto and Waterloo for expansion and growth.
Canada doubled down on its efforts to invest in innovation and development over the last number of years, by creating and funding a supercluster initiative across Canada to drive innovation and create a collaborative model for R&D. The Digital Technology and Scale AI superclusters, to name a few, have resulted in the creation of technologies and products that put Canada on the global map for innovation.
Canada continues to entice technology companies and invest in those companies with its competitive business costs, reasonable tax rates and government-backed incentive programs. The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive is one example of the incentive programs available to Canadian businesses conducting R&D, including the creation and/or enhancement of new and existing technologies.
Although COVID-19 accelerated digitalization globally, Canada continues to be ahead of the curve for technological advancement with a strong focus on artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, e-commerce, fintech, cybersecurity and privacy. Specifically, Canada has seen significant growth in the adoption of fintech technologies as well as exponential growth in foreign investment into fintech companies, which has led to an increase of fintech-related products in the Canadian market.
Last spring, the Canadian government also made a move to foster innovation and advance digital transformation in Canada with its announcement of Bill C-11 to modernize legislation related to data privacy. While Bill C-11 died in the fall when the federal election was called, Canada’s new federal minister of innovation has been mandated to introduce a new piece legislation to advance the Digital Charter, to strengthen privacy protections for consumers and to provide a clear set of rules that ensure fair competition in the online marketplace. Should this new piece take on the key aspects Bill C-11, it will add additional protections related to the handling of digital information, enhanced consent requirements, multiple exceptions to consent requirements to allow for flexibility, clarify service providers’ responsibilities and introduce procedural fairness by establishing a tribunal to which corporate can appeal decisions.
With an unparalleled tech ecosystem, innovative government programs and incentives, and an exceptionally talented tech workforce, Canada is the ideal place for companies and investors to enter the technology market.