PM announces $52M for 'innovation network' between Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa

The federal government is investing $52.4 million in an innovation network that is expected to create 18,000 skilled jobs in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa.

Network will link Ontario's 'top innovation hubs,' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Kitchener

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with people who work for Signal, a tech company, during a tour of Communitech in Kitchener on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The federal government is investing $52.4 million in an innovation network that is expected to create 18,000 skilled jobs in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the funding for the new "Scale-up Platform" program for tech companies at the Communitech technology hub in Kitchener, Ont., on Tuesday.

The federal government says the platform will be the first of its kind in Canada, and it will incorporate the skills of Ontario's "top innovation hubs": Communitech, in Kitchener, the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Invest Ottawa. 

The three will work with tech companies to grow their businesses.

The government said it expects the platform will help 30 Ontario companies, create 18,000 skilled jobs "and achieve revenues of $100 million or more by 2024."

"For the first time in decades, we have a crop of scale-ready firms that are on the path to $100 million. Our job — through the Scale-up Platform — is to help those high-growth firms find the talent and capital to accelerate their growth," said Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech.

"We need to pool our expertise, our networks, and our resources to help them compete globally and create good-paying jobs for Canadians."

This is one of many stops made by the prime minister this winter and spring, talking about jobs and the economy as his party prepares to launch its campaign for the federal election coming up in October.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with tech worker Mohammed Hakmi in Kitchener on Tuesday. Hakmi is a Syrian refugee who recently secured a job at Bonfire through an international program that matches skilled refugees with jobs in Canada, the United States and Australia. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Town hall Tuesday

Later Tuesday, Trudeau will host a community town hall in nearby Cambridge, Ont.

The prime minister will be joined by four local Liberal MPs: Bardish Chagger of Waterloo, Raj Saini of Kitchener Centre, Marwan Tabbara of Kitchener South-Hespeler and Bryan May of Cambridge.

A release, posted to the websites of all the local Liberal MPs involved says the town hall will discuss jobs, growing the economy and building a "stronger, more resilient middle class."

PM announces $52M for tech 'innovation network'

4 years ago
Duration 24:54
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Kitchener to announce funding for an innovation network that is expected to create 18,000 skilled jobs in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa.

With files from the CBC's Kate Bueckert


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