Still no digital economy strategy from Paradis

Don’t expect the long-delayed digital economy strategy to be announced when the House of Commons resumes Sept. 17.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis told the Economic Club of Canada this week that the strategy will be ready “by the end of the year.”

In May he told the Canadian Telecom Summit the strategy would be ready “later this year.”

He could have been dampening expectations, particularly because the strategy could affect stock prices of telecommunications companies. He may also not have wanted three weeks or so of rumours to be circulating around Ottawa.

However, had the announcement been imminent he could have signalled that if the government wanted.

In a copy of his remarks released to the media, Paradis promised the strategy will challenge innovators, drives new technology and benefits the entire economy.

He repeated that the Canadian economy has to start with business not government, although, he added, government, the private sector and the education sectors have to work together.

“This means that our provinces and territories need to make tomorrow’s skills a priority today in their education systems,” he said. “Our colleges, universities and polytechnics must work together and embrace partnerships with the private sector. Industry must bring forward more private investment, particularly in early-stage risk capital and to support larger-scale venture capital funds. And companies must drive product and service innovations and propel them into every corner of our economy.”

For its part Ottawa is putting up $400 million for early stage risk capital and to create large-scale venture capital funds, and will release the digital economy strategy.

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