Briefing

Justin Trudeau announces $52.4 million over five years for Communitech, MaRS and Invest Ottawa

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Waterloo-based Communitech will get $18 million, MaRS Discovery District will get $17.5 million and Invest Ottawa will get $16.9 million as part of a new Scale-Up Program meant to help 30 Ontario firms reach annual revenues of $100 million by 2024. The prime minister said the program will create 18,000 “high-paying middle-class” jobs and attract more than $4 billion in investments. Meanwhile, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced $500,000 for the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre in Kenora. (The Logic)

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Talking point: In October 2018, The Logic published an internal government report that outlined a proposed scale-up program seeking to build 25 companies with annual revenues of over $100 million in the next 10 years. Tuesday’s announcement proposes a shorter timeline and more high-growth firms, but is short on specifics on how to hit those goals. The October report, by contrast, had plenty of specifics on how to create $100-million firms. It suggested a “lifetime limit” for companies receiving government funding. It also suggests dramatically reforming the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax-credit program and changing the behaviour of the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada to stop being what the report describes as risk-averse.