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Trudeau Announces $2.4 Billion AI Funding Package

AI | April 9, 2024

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Boosting Canada's AI Ecosystem and Global Leadership

On April 7, 2024, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an ambitious $2.4 billion artificial intelligence (AI) funding package from Budget 2024 to accelerate job growth in AI, enhance productivity, and ensure the technology's responsible development and use.  The funding is critical for Canada to maintain its global leadership in AI at a time when AI adoption is lagging in Canada when other countries are progressing ahead.

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Having said that, Canada's AI sector witnessed nearly one-third increase in jobs in the past year, indicating a booming industry with potential for future expansion.  The package is set to be tabled by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on April 16, 2024.

  • A significant portion of the budget, $2 billion, is an investment in building computing capabilities and technological infrastructure to support AI researchers and businesses.
  • An additional $200 million will boost AI start-ups and facilitate AI adoption in critical sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing.
  • $100 million is dedicated to the NRC IRAP AI Assist Program, helping SMEs scale and increase productivity by adopting AI solutions.
  • The plan includes $50 million for the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, offering new skills training for workers in sectors potentially disrupted by AI.

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada:

“AI has the potential to transform the economy. And our potential lies in capitalizing on the undeniable Canadian advantage. These investments in Budget 2024 will help harness the full potential of AI so Canadians, and especially young Canadians, can get good-paying jobs while raising our productivity, and growing our economy. This announcement is a major investment in our future, in the future of workers, in making sure that every industry, and every generation, has the tools to succeed and prosper in the economy of tomorrow.”

Facts About Canada's AI Strategy

Some facts highlighted in the release highlight Canada's approach to nurturing its AI ecosystem, focusing on innovation, responsible development, and securing a competitive advantage on the global stage.

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  • Over $16 billion to support scientific discovery and AI development, alongside more than $2 billion to enhance Canada's AI ecosystem and digital infrastructure.
  • The Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy launched in 2017, it was the first national AI strategy in the world, with Phase 2 announced in 2022, providing more than $443 million in funding.
  • Since 2017-18, federal research agencies have awarded $936.8 million for AI research. The NRC IRAP has provided $705.8 million to AI firms, supporting 1,111 firms and 3,837 projects.
  • In 2023, Canada announced renewed funding for Scale AI, totaling up to $284 million, promoting AI and supply chain management innovation.
  • Canada ranks first among 80 countries in the Center for AI and Digital Policy’s 2024 global report on AI and Democratic Values. The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) was introduced as part of bill C-27 in 2022 to regulate AI's use responsibly.
  • In 2022-23, over 140,000 AI professionals were active in Canada, marking a 29% increase from the previous year. Canada holds 10% of the world’s top-tier AI researchers and leads in the growth of women in AI.
  • The Canadian AI sector attracted over $8.6 billion in 2022, nearly 30% of all venture capital activity in Canada.


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This considerable investment will help boost Canada's edge in the global AI arena and also work towards creating high-quality jobs, boost productivity across industries, and ensure that AI development aligns with Canadian values and ethical standards.

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