January 8, 2019
In September 2018, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada released the much-anticipated Report from Canada's Economic Strategy Tables: The Innovation and Competitiveness Imperative.
Budget 2017 created the Economic Strategy Tables to support innovation in six sectors that are considered to have the potential to drive economic growth in Canada—and one of those sectors is agri-food.
In the Report from Canada's Economic Strategy Tables, the Agri-Food Table put forward 18 recommendations that call on governments and industry to 'think big' as we look to the future. The recommendations fall under five key themes:
- Regulations: transform regulatory processes to bolster competitiveness.
- Infrastructure: build a state-of-the-art transportation and IT infrastructure network.
- Market diversification: develop Canada's agri-food markets at home and abroad.
- Innovation: investments to help increase automation and digitization.
- Labour and skills: develop a diverse labour force with the right skills to help the sector achieve its maximum potential.
The Government of Canada is reviewing the recommendations and continues to work with industry to support their continued ability to drive Canada's economic growth.
Fall Economic Statement 2018
In Canada's Fall Economic Statement 2018, which lays out the next steps in the Government's plan to grow the economy, there are a number of measures that will help Canada's agriculture and agri-food sectors grow, innovate and prosper. These measures include important tax and investment incentives that will drive business growth and increase the competitiveness of Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses.
Under the new measures, manufacturers and food processors will be able to immediately write off the cost of capital investments like machinery or equipment – including clean technology. And under the new Accelerated Investment Incentive, manufacturers, food processors – and farmers – will be able to write off a larger portion of the depreciation in the year an investment is made.
The Statement also includes a $25-million investment over the next five years to expand support for agriculture and food exports, as well as another $13.6 million over three years to improve transportation data, which will support movement of all goods, including agricultural products. Broad measures will also be undertaken to make sure Canada's regulations are as innovative and efficient as possible, helping businesses to stay on the competitive edge and grow. Furthermore, the Government of Canada is providing a further $800 million over five years to the Strategic Innovation Fund, which will support innovative investments across the country in all economic sectors.
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