Apr 15 2024

In an exciting move to empower Canadians and propel the nation forward in artificial intelligence (AI), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a groundbreaking investment of $2.4 billion set to feature in Budget 2024. This significant commitment aims to not only cement Canada’s position as a global AI leader but also to create meaningful opportunities for Canadians, especially the younger generation. 

“AI has the power to reshape our economy, redefine how we work, and enrich our lives,” Prime Minister Trudeau shared passionately. “Through these investments, we’re unlocking the full potential of AI to ensure every Canadian, especially our youth, can access rewarding careers and contribute to our nation’s growth.” 

Canada has long been celebrated for its pioneering efforts in AI, boasting a world-class ecosystem that spans research, development, and ethical considerations. Since 2017, the government has steadily invested over $2 billion in AI and digital innovation, reinforcing Canada’s stature as a trailblazer in this transformative field. 

The latest funding package encompasses a diverse array of initiatives aimed at amplifying Canada’s AI capabilities while fostering responsible adoption. Here’s a glimpse into some of the key initiatives: 

An investment of $2 billion will be channeled into building state-of-the-art computing infrastructure accessible to AI researchers, start-ups, and burgeoning enterprises. This initiative aims to attract global investment, nurture top talent, and empower Canadian businesses to shine on the world stage. 

A $200 million allocation will turbocharge AI start-ups and accelerate AI integration across vital sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and clean technology, paving the way for groundbreaking innovations that benefit all Canadians. 

The NRC IRAP AI Assist Program will receive $100 million to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with the resources they need to scale up, innovate, and drive economic growth through AI adoption. 

Recognizing the potential impact of AI on the workforce, $50 million will be earmarked for the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, offering skills training and support to workers in industries facing transformation. 

A new Canadian AI Safety Institute, backed by $50 million, will champion the responsible development and deployment of AI, safeguarding against potential risks and ensuring that Canadian values remain at the forefront. 

An investment of $5.1 million will strengthen the Office of the AI and Data Commissioner, ensuring robust enforcement of the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act to protect Canadians and guide AI innovation toward positive outcomes. 

These initiatives represent a concerted effort to fuel job creation, spark innovation, and spur economic growth across Canada. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, underscored the importance of these investments in fostering economic resilience and providing Canadians with rewarding opportunities in the burgeoning field of AI. 

The announcement comes as part of a broader strategy to secure Canada’s position as a global AI powerhouse while addressing critical societal needs. Budget 2024 will tackle various pressing issues, including housing affordability, childcare, and infrastructure development, underscoring the government’s commitment to inclusive growth and prosperity. 

With its wealth of talent, robust research infrastructure, and unwavering dedication to innovation, Canada is poised to lead the charge in shaping the future of AI while ensuring the well-being and prosperity of its citizens for generations to come. 

For more information on how CTAP can assist in accessing government grants such as SR&ED, IDMTC, and other Canadian government grants, click here.