The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Federal innovation department left $760 million unspent last fiscal year

The federal innovation department did not spend about a quarter of the just over $3 billion it was authorized to spend in the 2019–20 fiscal year, according to new disclosures. More than half the shortfall consisted of deferred payouts to firms awarded funding by Ottawa’s flagship business-support and broadband-access programs.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) said almost all the unspent money will be moved to future years, mostly at the request of its intended private-sector recipients. But it’s not the first time the department has fallen short of its plans, and opposition party critics say they’re troubled by what appears to be a pattern.

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