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First budget Girard: a budget that opens the way to digital for the economic development of Quebec

First budget Girard: a budget that opens the way to digital for the economic development of Quebec

Montreal, March 21, 2019 – Over the last few months, AQT members have been talking about measures to help grow their business. These exchanges were also the subject of eight pre-budget recommendations and meetings with the office of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Éric Girard.

AQT notes today that:

  • In view of the economic potential of the AI, the provincial budget plans to add considerable sums to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence;
  • The digital transition of new business sectors will be encouraged by the enhancement of Essor and Audit 4.0 .;
  • The government lays the groundwork for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Public Administration;
  • Announced last November, accelerated depreciation for technology investments is maintained;
  • The improvement of the Export Program is extended;
  • CDAE and SR & ED credits retain their purpose and no changes are made to them.

Huge sums to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence

The AQT welcomes this very promising announcement, reiterating, however, that the state must foresee the involvement of techno SMEs in the AI ​​ecosystem. AQT will continue its involvement on the subject.

Let’s mention that the budget unveiled today provides for the announcement of new programs, the amounts of which are already allocated:

  • $ 12.5 million to expand the offer of training for students (development of specialized courses and training in AI);
  • $ 65 million to strengthen Québec’s leading position in AI, by supporting companies designing applications based on artificial intelligence;
  • $ 34.5 million to increase Québec’s computing power and facilitate access and use for Québec researchers and businesses;
  • $ 100 million are also invested in 4 initiatives dedicated to technology transfer.

The Essor and Audit 4.0 programs will be enhanced and expanded to new areas of activity

While they were hitherto dedicated to the digital transition of the manufacturer, the government announces an additional investment of 36.4 million over 5 years in the program Essor, and 11.5 million over 5 years in the program Audit 4.0. The new targeted business sectors will be announced shortly.

Government lays the groundwork for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Public Administration
The government announces the creation of an entity entitled “Technological Infrastructures Québec” and a center of expertise in acquisitions, in addition to giving a clear mandate to the Treasury Board Secretariat to implement Québec’s digital strategy within the province. of public administration. He thus has a plan and a structure enabling him to act on all the levers necessary for his transformation.

These measures announced today will allow public organizations to focus their efforts on improving their services to the population.

AQT will ensure that the concentration of acquisitions promotes better access for SMEs to public procurement.

Announced last November, budget maintains accelerated depreciation for technology investments

The government maintains a 100% increase in the depreciation rate and the introduction of a new 30% permanent additional deduction for computer equipment, manufacturing and processing equipment, production equipment clean energy as well as intellectual property. This measure is beneficial to companies investing in their digital transformation.

The improvement of the Export Program is extended

In continuity with the previous three years, the budget announces $ 35 million over 5 years in the Export Program to help hiring market development specialists and funding studies and promotional tools.

It also announces the injection of $ 7.5 million over 5 years for increased support for marketing in other Canadian provinces. This amount will be used to open an office in Vancouver and Calgary and add resources to Toronto and Moncton.

Credit for the development of e-business (CDAE) and SR & ED credit

AQT recommended expanding the eligibility criteria to support new technologies such as embedded software for CDAE as well as adding two dedicated marketing resources. She also recommended that the eligibility threshold be maintained, but that the $ 50,000 deductible be refunded again. None of the existing tax measures have been amended at this time.

Proud representative of techno SMEs in Quebec, AQT will continue its constructive exchanges with the Quebec government.