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Digital Technologies/ICT

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Canadian ICT Sector Profile

Reports the performance of the Canadian ICT sector in terms of GDP, employment, education, salaries, R&D expenditures and trade based on the most recent annual data available.

The Digital Technologies sector is a combination of manufacturing and service industries that use creativity, talent, and digital skills to capture, transmit and display data and information electronically. The sector consists of the established core of the information and communications technology (ICT) subsector, with lucrative new vertical markets developing in healthcare, education, finance, defence and the creative industries as IT-based systems increasingly underpin operations across the economy.

While it does not capture the full breadth of the sector, the best available data source for benchmarking the economic contribution of digital technologies remains the ICT industries. Canada’s ICT industries are home to over 43,000 companies, from innovative start-ups to large multinationals. The sector is a significant part of the Canadian economy, contributing $94 billion in GDP in 2019 and employing 667,000 workers. These are highly innovative, high quality jobs; the ICT industries are responsible for approximately one third of Canada’s private sector research and development spending, and ICT workers earn salaries that are fifty percent higher than the overall average across the economy.

Canada is home to world class talent in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, augmented and virtual reality, and cybersecurity. Canada also features low corporate tax rates and business costs, an abundance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates and access to funding programs for innovative projects.

Economic Strategy—Digital technology table

In Fall 2018, the Digital Industries Economic Strategy Table (EST) released a report focused on turning Canadian digital strengths into global advantages for Canadian firms.

In June 2020, the Government of Canada launched the Industry Strategy Council to coordinate key industries’ input on the impact of COVID-19, increase understanding of specific sectoral pressures, and inform Canada’s economic recovery. The Council, Chaired by Monique Leroux, is composed of the Chairs of the ESTs and is modeled after the successful industry-government collaboration initiative. The Digital Industries EST will be renewed and build on the work of the Industry Strategy Council in the Fall.

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