Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains is calling on the private sector to spend more on research and development to prepare for the rise of the digital economy.
Speaking at a conference Thursday in Toronto, Bains said Canada ranks 22nd out of 34 economically advanced OECD countries in terms of spending on R&D as a proportion of GDP.
Bains said the amount Canadian companies invest in technology per worker is less than half of what their counterparts in the U.S. spend.
He said that puts Canada at a competitive disadvantage, especially in a global, digital economy.
He added that while the federal budget contains measures intended to boost skills development, governments can’t solve the problem without help from the private sector and society at large.