The federal government budget released Wednesday includes measures aimed at fostering the growth of digital media businesses and developing the highly skilled talent pool that those businesses will need to succeed. These measures demonstrate a commitment to strengthening the middle class through developing the careers, businesses and technologies that are essential elements of the Digital Economy in Canada.

Budget 2017 announced the Skills and Innovation Plan which includes programs that will specifically benefit Ontario’s IDM industry such as:

Supporting Innovation through:

  • Establishing Innovation Canada as a simpler and centralized office to facilitate access to innovation programs
  • Increased support to the Business Development Bank for a Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
  • Support for innovation in the digital sector as a recognized key growth industry
  • Investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to support the creation and development of creative spaces/hubs that will support entrepreneurialism in arts and culture

Expanding the Talent Pool through:

  • Mid-career skills training through enhancements to the Labour Market Transfer Agreements
  • Enhancements to the Canada Student Grants and loan program to make it easier for adults to return to school for retraining
  • Enhancing work-integrated learning placements
  • Teaching kids digital skills and coding

“IO has long been an advocate for supporting innovative businesses and expanding the talent pool and these new and enhanced programs are exactly the kinds of programs that IO believes will help Ontario’s IDM industry grow, ensure that there is a skilled talent pool to draw from and provide Canadians with well-paid and highly skilled jobs of the future” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Interactive Ontario and Chair of the Canadian Interactive Alliance – Alliance Interactive Canadienne.