Ontario government cuts $24 million in AI research funding

Ontario has cut $24 million in funding for artificial intelligence research to two institutes.

Ontario's previous government had promised $30 million to the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Toronto Mayor John Tory, left, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford stand for a photo in Queen's Park office in Toronto. Ontario's municipalities say they may be forced to raise taxes or cut services due to provincial government cuts that will likely equal well over half a billion dollars in lost annual funding and foregone revenue. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ontario has cut $24 million in funding for artificial intelligence research to two institutes.

The Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence was due to receive $30 million under an agreement with the previous government, but got $10 million last year from the current government.

No further money is budgeted in the government's expenditure estimates for this year for the Vector Institute, but a spokeswoman says that doesn't mean there won't be any future funding.

There will also be $4 million less flowing to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

The Progressive Conservatives are trying to eliminate an $11.7-billion deficit, and a spokeswoman for the economic development minister says Ontario needs to get its fiscal house in order.

Sarah Letersky says the government has a great working relationship with both institutes and looks forward to continuing to make Ontario a top destination for AI commercialization.

When the Vector Institute was launched in 2017, the Liberal government at the time said the province's investment would help encourage research and development and create jobs.

Premier Doug Ford is set to speak this afternoon to the Collision technology conference in Toronto.


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