Supporting small businesses and creating good jobs
Good morning, everyone. Glad to be here. I have to, like George did, say how disappointed I think we all are not to have Randy Boissonnault here today, out of an abundance of caution he is not able to join us.
But he’s not entirely without a presence here, on the wall behind me, on the founders of Startup Edmonton, third name down in the front in the top row is Randy Boissonnault. He has been an extraordinary driving force here in Edmonton for success for a long time, and we are incredibly lucky to have him as part of our team leading the way as Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance. He’s always there to advocate, alongside George, for the interests of Alberta, but he’s also been incredibly busy over the past number of months as Associate Minister of Finance delivering an amazing budget that’s having a huge impact on Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
It’s great to be here at Startup Edmonton, a division of Innovate Edmonton that does amazing work to promote local innovation. Thanks for having us, Catherine, it is a real pleasure to be here, and thank you for everything you do for Alberta entrepreneurs.
In last week’s budget, we laid out our plan to grow our economy and invest in innovation and economic growth across the country. Canada is home to the third-largest tech hub in North America, and Alberta is home to over 3,000 tech companies. These are innovative sectors that have a huge potential to create good, high-paying jobs for the future, and with the right tools we can ensure Canada continues to be a global innovation leader.
As many of us know, Canada has some of the best scientists, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the world, but in order to bring those great ideas to market and help their businesses grow, they need support for research, development, and mostly commercialization. So, we’re going to help drive innovation and help them succeed and be competitive.
Last week, we announced our intention to launch a new $1-billion Canada Innovation and Investment Agency. It’ll work with many of the brilliant scientists, researchers, innovators, and inventors across the country to bring commercial success to businesses across different sectors: in the mining sector, the tourism sector, fisheries, and the high-tech sector, among everything else. We know there are some of the smartest and most innovative minds in the world, brilliant academics, brilliant researchers here in Canada, but getting those ideas into concrete businesses that can hire workers and contribute to our economy is a challenge that we’re stepping up to support.
This agency will also help Canada’s innovative startups to scale up, like those at Innovate Edmonton. Businesses like 2S Water, whose CEO Anthea Sargeaunt is here today. 2S Water uses real-time data to monitor water quality from municipalities, resource companies, farmers, food producers, and more. Their technology keeps people safe, protects our environment, and is ready to scale up. Those are the kinds of businesses that need that extra support in loans or grants from an agency like this to really allow them to move forward and contribute, not just to the Canadian economy, but to our well-being in Canada.
Businesses like those here in Edmonton and elsewhere in the country have enormous growth potential. We will continue to be there and continue to help them innovate.
Our government also wants to help small businesses to grow and to create jobs across the economy. Currently, the small business tax rate in Canada is the lowest in the G7, but this rate is quickly reaching its limit, which could discourage some businesses from reaching their full potential.
So, we’re going to cut taxes so that more growing businesses can take advantage of Canada’s already low small business tax rate. See, Canada has the lowest small business tax rate in the G7, and we want to put that tax rate to work in encouraging more businesses to grow.
That’s why we’re making sure that small businesses can benefit from that tax rate longer, even as they grow and scale up, which means that as they grow, they can use this advantage to invest in themselves, hire more people, and grow even faster.
We’re also working to build more resilient supply chains so that you can get what you make to markets across Canada and around the world.
To the entrepreneurs and innovators who are working hard, taking risks, and finding solutions to today’s problems, our message is simple: our government is here to support you.
We’ll keep working to make sure that every person in Canada with a good idea can turn that idea into a successful business, create jobs, and compete and win in the changing global economy.