July 15, 2020

CATA CEO Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau 5 June 2020 (2 of 3)

5 Jun 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

Our future, Canadian way of life, our social, health care, education, immigration and arts and culture programs need healthy Canadian revenues to fund. Getting Canada back to work when it’s safe, securing a future for younger generations depends upon smart decisions made TODAY.  Drawing on strengths and focusing on financial catalysts are key. 

On 3 April I wrote to you on behalf of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance about gaps in Canada’s emergency funding plan, the urgency for those catalysts left behind and the consequences of not adequately protecting a tech sector at risk of being off shored. Today the problem persists. 

We appreciate the immediate contact from your office. We have yet to speak to key decision makers and know the gravity of the problem to be misunderstood and are concerned it is being ignored. 

We are grateful The Canada Revenue Agency swiftly resolved our ask that critical Science, Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits restart. Mutually insightful collaboration ongoing.  

Our future doesn’t need to follow past mistakes – vibrant and unsupported tech sectors, teams, talent, jobs and Canadian prosperity don’t need to be off shored to other countries as in past downturns. Canada could lose our future, cornerstone and technology financial catalysts.

The innovation promise, investment and endowments of Canadians 

Canadian innovation investment of $36B year over year via universities, commercialization programs and direct investment was a welcome shift to a knowledge economy. The strategy has delivered competitive talent, jobs, immigration drivers, and economic growth for Canadians.

We ask that these endowments owned by Canadians not be abandoned, that Canada’s opportunity for financial recovery, our science and technology talent, leaders and sector be adequately protected. 

Canada’s largest innovation program and success story has been ignored and unconsidered in emergency funding.

760,000 people employed by 13,000 established and vital Canadian small and medium companies are a big part of our future. They need to be considered. Their leaders invest their own money in science, and have been part of the SR&ED program for an average of 8 years. They have been contributing $34B in payroll and growing with $188B annual revenues. Many Shopify’s brew here independent of other innovation programs.

The Story of One of 13,000 Left Behind

Calgary’s Flurotest has a cannabis bio quality test on market. Their technology has pivoted to an affordable 5 minute COVID19 portable antibodies and immunity saliva test that data fuels digital immunity cloud based passports on smart phones. This SR&ED supported distancing freedom passport test is approved for FDA fast tracking and could return Canada’s culture, productivity and prosperity in weeks but the investment climate is slow. Flurotest recently partnered with a US medical university due to limited lab facilities in Canada. 

Flurotest does not adequately qualify for Canadian emergency funding. There’s a problem for so many Flurotests, our strengths and financial catalysts left behind.

The Resilience and Rebound Emergency (RRE) Fund is an alternative to keep successful science and technology-centric talent and teams together and save millions of downstream jobs.

Despite enthusiasm from several ministers, a path and access to decision makers has not been forthcoming for us and others and we need your help. Canadians care, momentum is building, we gained 2000 petition signatures this week alone. See Annex

Broader and inclusive emergency consultations including companies belonging to Canada’s largest innovation program, SR&ED, are needed for better inclusive policy outcomes. 

We ask for an expedited meeting with budget decision makers and those leading Canada’s SR&ED program emergency response. Please advise who these people are. We wish to share data, insights and desperately needed context. 

Our recovery and way of life depend on it.

With respect 

Suzanne Grant, CD 

CEO 

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance 

Suzanne.grant@cata.ca 613 697 8818 
 CATAAlliance  is an independent non-profit with a mandate to support a thriving technology/science centric innovation sector. We advocate for a sustainable, just, inclusive and competitive environment on behalf of Canada Headquartered SMEs.