Innovation for a better Canada

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Innovation and Skills Plan

CanCode: Digital Skills for a Better Canada

Coding is the building block of software. It is part of your everyday life. The GPS that gets you from A to B easily. The app that tracks your heart rate. All your music available wherever you go.

A coder made those things possible.

Knowing how to code will take you from being a consumer of technology to being a producer of it. Coding helps you gain the skills to compete for the jobs of the future.

Young Canadians are getting the digital skills they need to prepare them from an early age for the jobs of the future.

DIGITAL SKILLS FOR THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE. ME TODAY: Build games, Code drones, Program robots. ME TOMORROW: Good salary, High-demand jobs, Start my own business

To give young Canadians from kindergarten to grade 12 a head start in life, we're investing $50 million in coding workshops, after-school coding classes and hackathons.

If you're a not-for-profit provider of these programs, you can apply for funding.

We are building a better Canada so that everyone has the jobs,
skills and learning to solve global challenges and strengthen communities.
An innovative and prosperous Canada for you, for your children and for all of us—
that's innovation for a better Canada.

And we've already started creating better jobs, better skills and better learning opportunities:

Global Skills Strategy

Faster processing times for work permits to help companies access global talent

Innovation Superclusters Initiative

Growing businesses into globally successful brands

Canada's Fundamental Science Review

Strengthening the foundations of Canadian research

Canadian Free Trade Agreement

Free trade for a Better Canada

Strategic Investment Fund

$2B to accelerate infrastructure projects at colleges and universities

Connect to Innovate

Bringing high-speed Internet for Canadians in rural and remote communities

Reinstatement of the UCASS survey

Supporting greater diversity and inclusion in Canadian universities

Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Keeping businesses competitive in low-carbon economy

Leading Satellite Technologies

$17.6M investment to expand Canada's leadership in satellite tech

FPT Ministers of Innovation

Better positioning Canada to create jobs and compete globally

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs

$50M to help businesswomen access capital

Supporting the Indigenous Tourism Industry

$3.15M in support Indigenous Tourism businesses

Innovation Success Stories


It's already happening

It all started with a question:

How can we make Canada more innovative?
And, Oh Canada, did you answer


On June 14, 2016, we launched a nationwide conversation

See how it went


We enlisted 10 engagement leaders to represent every sector of society—from the business community to universities and colleges, the not-for-profit sector, social entrepreneurs and Indigenous business leaders—because we can only do better together.

Janie BéïqueJanie Béïque

Senior Vice-President, Natural Resources, Industries and Consumer Goods at Fonds de solidarité FTQ

Dr. Elizabeth CannonDr. Elizabeth Cannon

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary

Valerie FoxValerie Fox

Chief Innovation Consultant at The Pivotal Point

Dr. Arvind GuptaDr. Arvind Gupta

Distinguished visiting professor at the University of Toronto

Austin HillAustin Hill

Co-founder and CEO of Blockstream

Dr. Sarah LubikDr. Sarah Lubik

Director of Entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University

Dr. Maurice MoloneyDr. Maurice Moloney

Executive Director and CEO of the Global Institute for Food Security

Mark PodlaslyMark Podlasly

Founder of Brookmere Management Group

Dr. Ilse TreurnichtDr. Ilse Treurnicht

CEO of MaRS Discovery District

Tyler WishTyler Wish

Co-founder and CEO of Sequence Bio


Conversations across Canada

From Whitehorse to St. John's, our engagement leaders brought
400 of you to 28 roundtables.


It started with one question: "How can we make Canada more innovative?" We focused your answers into six areas of action. See what you had to say.


In the end, you visited, tweeted, emailed, called and posted over 119,000 times.

And it all comes down to this…

You've told us you want to see innovation for a better Canada.
We've reviewed all your ideas and focused them into three priority areas to spur innovation:


You told us we need better ways for more Canadians to get the skills the global economy demands.

That means:

  • Helping young Canadians build coding and other digital skills
  • Encouraging Canadians to develop science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) skills to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow
  • Making sure that we have diverse Canadians represented in STEM fields
  • Developing our own talent, attracting international talent, and keeping it all here in Canada

You told us we can do better in harnessing emerging tech that would create industries and jobs that never existed before as well as reinvigorate existing ones.

That means:

  • Encouraging breakthroughs in science and tech that will enhance the well-being of all Canadians
  • Creating and supporting globally competitive innovation networks and clusters that will benefit Canada and the middle class
  • Taking more risks and sponsoring "moon shots" to keep Canada at the forefront of advancing science and tech

You told us we can do better in encouraging more Canadians to start and grow companies that are competitive in the global economy.

That means:

  • Improving access to capital that will allow Canadian companies to grow and scale up
  • Leveraging the Government of Canada's buying power to support innovative companies

Innovation: a Canadian tradition

Here's the latest

Ready to innovate? We can help.

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