PM Trudeau announces investment in AI to create over 16,000 jobs for Canadians
Hi everyone. It’s always a great pleasure to be back in Montreal, especially when it’s to make an important announcement on the future economy and jobs. First off, I want to say hello to a few people. I’d like to welcome the Quebec Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and Jean-François Gagné of Element AI, who are here with us. Let us also welcome the French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi. Thank you for being here. Let’s show them our appreciation.
My dear friends, I cannot imagine a better place to hold a conference meeting with our G7 partners. In recent years, as a modern city, Montreal has decidedly become a city of the future, a city where innovation and creativity fuel its growth, and that’s largely due to the know-how that we have here. Our researchers are recognized worldwide as pioneers of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and deep learning. Our world-class universities are training the next generation of scientists, entrepreneurs and researchers, who are already developing solutions to the challenges that the world’s industries face.
From the gaming industry to the medical field, from aerospace to entertainment, Montrealers and Canadians are leading the way and have been for quite a while, and as the world looks to broadly apply this technology, Canadian innovators have given our country a head start. Our government recognized the unprecedented opportunity before us, so we set up to support our innovators across the country and make Canada a global leader in AI. Canada is well-positioned to build a future where the middle class is thriving, and our economies are growing.
Canada is currently an international leader in artificial intelligence, but the government must continue to support the sector to remain competitive. Countries around the world are competing to develop new technologies that will power their economies into the future. We must continue innovating to maintain the edge that we currently enjoy and remain at the cutting edge of progress. We have therefore set up an ambitious strategy to ensure the sector’s long-term competitiveness. Our government will continue to support the ecosystems across Canada like the one in Montreal, which attracts the sector’s big names to our country and trains the next generation. We have set up innovation superclusters that will bring together stakeholders from various sectors to drive our industries into the future and create jobs.
Here in Montreal we have selected the AI-powered supply chains supercluster, which brings together artificial intelligence experts and representatives from companies of all sizes. To date, this supercluster includes more than 110 companies, universities, professional associations, incubators, financial institutions, and international partners, to name just those.
Whether it is helping small and medium enterprises to reach new heights or large companies to adopt new technologies, the goal is to modernize our practices, create new jobs, and improve Canada’s competitiveness in the area of exports. Today, I am pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has just concluded an agreement with the supercluster, with an expected investment of $230 million.
This contribution will be matched by our partners in the private sector. We expect that this investment will lead to the creation of more than 16,000 jobs for Canadians and that it will add more than $16 billion to our economy over a 10-year period.
And I’m going to repeat that one in English. This investment will create more than 16,000 jobs for Canadians and add more than $16 billion to our economy over the next decade. My friends, this is what it's all about. It's about harnessing new technologies to create thousands of new jobs, and more opportunities for people to succeed, it's about building a better future for all Canadians.
The solutions developed by the supercluster will allow Canadian companies to seize new opportunities, in addition to attracting investments and talent from around the world. With today’s announcement, we have made an important step toward making Canada a leader in artificial intelligence and exports.
This new technology is nothing short of revolutionary, and it's already changing the way we work and live, and we're only scratching the surface. That being said, we must recognize that with AI we're entering uncharted territory. As exciting as this may be, it does come with a particular set of challenges. If Canada is to become a world leader in AI, it must not only invest in innovation, but we must also play an active role in addressing some of the ethical concerns that we will face in this new era.
Last June, President Macron and I signed the Canada-France Statement on Artificial Intelligence, which is in the same spirit as the Statement on Artificial Intelligence of the G7 Innovation Ministers, adopted here in Montreal on March 28. The document emphasized the development of this human-centred technology that is focused on respect for human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic development. Today, I am pleased to announce that Canada and France have agreed to set up an international group of AI experts. It will be made up of representatives from the scientific community, industry, governments and civil society. The objective is to better understand the issues related to AI and to establish best practices.
We are now inviting our international partners, first of all, the other members of the G7, the OECD and UN to join and help us to develop a framework that will become the global reference for AI. On this point, I would like to applaud the efforts and commitment of our French friends in recent months. It is a high priority for both our countries, and Canada is proud to count on France’s partnership. While Canada’s presidency of the G7 is drawing to a close, we are getting ready to pass on the torch to France, who intends to rely on the progress made at the Charlevoix Summit. I look forward to continuing our work in the New Year. I know that together we can build an economy based on innovation, an economy that benefits the greatest number and provides the middle class with new opportunities for success. Once again, thank you for being with us today.
Thank you my friends.