Person: Barrie Kirk

Ontario Budget includes new funding for skills, technology development and business growth

Last month’s Ontario Budget included a $674-million boost to support for technology, innovation and skills development as the province posted its first balanced budget since the 2008 financial meltdown and made a commitment of at least two more to come. Fuelled by 2.7% growth of provincial GDP in 2016, the $141.7-billion budgetary plan for 2017 includes funding to support autonomous vehicles, business growth, quantum computing and next-generation wireless consortia.

Ottawa lays groundwork to establish autonomous vehicles cluster in western suburb

Ottawa’s high-tech cluster hopes to regain some of its former luster by leveraging the region’s deep technological expertise and surging interest from global players to carve out a niche in the rapidly evolving field of autonomous vehicles (AV). The emerging AV cluster in the Ottawa west suburb of Kanata received a major boost last month with an announcement by Blackberry Ltd – at an event attended by prime minister Justin Trudeau – that it was investing $100 million to refocus its Kanata-based QNX division towards AV and establish a Blackberry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre with an emphasis on industry and academic partnerships.