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Health of Canadian economy hinges on helping startups protect intellectual property, scale up: report – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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The global pandemic is forcing many small businesses to choose between survival and preparing for a technology-driven future, a situation that should prompt policymakers to create incentives for innovators to protect their intellectual property and scale up, according to new research from the Information and Communications Technology Council.

Making investments to develop and protect trademarks, designs and other intellectual property is costly, especially across multiple jurisdictions, and the move to survival mode during the pandemic has drawn away from such spending, according to the 27-page report released Thursday by ICTC, which bills itself as a not-for-profit national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy.

The report, which was done in partnership with ventureLAB, a Markham, Ont.-based technology hub, suggests that the health of the Canadian economy after the pandemic depends on getting small businesses — particularly startups — on track to protect their intellectual property and scale up.

“Innovative and timely incentives for IP development, a business culture that keenly and rapidly responds to opportunities, and a tailored investment-attraction strategy will all play critical roles in a competitive Canadian economy post-COVID,” the authors wrote.

According to research cited in the report, small and medium-sized businesses that hold formal intellectual property are three times more likely to expand domestically, four times more likely to expand internationally, and nearly two times more likely to have experienced high growth of at least 20 per cent per year in the previous three years.

Having patents, meanwhile, may also increase the likelihood of receiving venture capital funding.

Canada is taking steps to support firms with exploitable intellectual property as they scale up in size, such as through the $160 million set aside recently by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the authors note.

However, the ICTC report says a more “fundamental shift” is needed in Canada “to more effectively consider the value of intangible assets in decisions affecting innovation.”

Innovative and timely incentives for IP development, a business culture that keenly and rapidly responds to opportunities, and a tailored investment-attraction strategy will all play critical roles

A pilot project under way in the province of Quebec — an incentive deduction for the commercialization of innovations — is an example of a step that could be taken across the country, the authors say.

Introduced as part of Quebec’s 2020-21 budget in March, the pilot will create “one of the most competitive corporate tax regimes in North America” for startups, the report suggests. It will allow eligible companies to be taxed provincially at two per cent, rather than Quebec’s general income tax rate of 11.5 per cent.

“When added to the federal general rate, it will result in a combined tax rate of 17 per cent for qualifying businesses, one of the lowest rates in Canada and the U.S.,” the report says.

“Although the results of this initiative remain to be seen … the competitiveness and innovative nature of this regime is likely to pay strong dividends for Quebec businesses as well as attract savvy foreign innovators to the province.”

There is no shortage of innovation taking place among Canadian businesses, according to the report, but the challenge remains for startups to transform their innovative ideas into scalable and sustainable business models.

A “strong and resilient scale-up ecosystem in Canada… can shape and support globally competitive Canadian anchor companies in a future where the digital economy will lead the way,” the report concludes.

Financial Post

• Email: bshecter@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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Economy

A grim milestone and update on pandemic-plagued economy. : In The News for Oct. 28 – Kamloops This Week

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In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 28 …

What we are watching in Canada …

article continues below

Canada reached a grim and worrying milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths.

Alberta reported two deaths Tuesday from COVID-19 to lift the national tally to 10,001.

COVID-19 case counts slowed across the country through the summer, but have taken a big jump in many areas this fall, with new daily highs regularly being set through Central and Western Canada.

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first one was reported.

Health Canada recently forecast 10,100 COVID-19 deaths in Canada by Nov. 1 as a worst-case scenario and now that number is close, Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said.

Carr said the increased spread of COVID-19 will result in more opportunities for the virus to infect the elderly and other vulnerable people.

But she said she doesn’t believe imposing further lockdowns on peoples economic and social well-being are the answer.

“We’re sabotaging those businesses and people that are paying the price because they are the ones that have been targeted as part of the solution to stop the spread.,” she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted today that the COVID-19 pandemic “really sucks” but added that a vaccine is coming.

Also this …

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada will release its updated outlook for the country’s pandemic-plagued economy.

The central bank in July said it believed the country had been spared from a worst-case scenario envisioned in April, but warned things could change.

Governor Tiff Macklem has said a severe second wave of the pandemic, health restrictions that extend beyond December and the timing of a vaccine or other effective treatment could all shift the country’s economic course.

This morning the central bank will provide a more detailed analysis of its forecast for the domestic economy as the country marches through a second wave of COVID-19.

Macklem has said the central bank will keep its key policy rate as low at it can go at 0.25 per cent until the economy has recovered and inflation is back at the bank’s two-per-cent target.

That means experts don’t expect the central bank to change the rate from near-zero when the bank makes its announcement later this morning.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

PHILADELPHIA — The lawyer for the family of a Black man killed by Philadelphia police officers in a shooting caught on video says the family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention.

Police say 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop the weapon before officers fired shots Monday afternoon.

Following a second night of arrests and reports of theft in sections of Philadelphia, a White House statement asserted that the unrest was another consequence of what it called “Liberal Democrats’ war against the police.”

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Satellite photos show Iran has begun construction at its Natanz nuclear facility.

That’s after the head of the UN’s nuclear agency acknowledged Tehran is building an underground advanced centrifuge assembly plant after its last one exploded in a reported sabotage attack last summer.

Since August, the satellite photos show Iran has built a new or regraded road to the south of Natanz toward what analysts believe is a former firing range for security forces at the enrichment facility.

Analysts from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies say they believe that site is undergoing excavation.

On this day in 2008 …

Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page avoided jail time on drug possession charges provided he seek substance abuse treatment and stay clean for the next six months. Page was charged with drug possession in July after police found cocaine at a Fayetteville, N.Y. apartment. He complied with his probation conditions and the charges were eventually dropped.

In health news …

The Canadian Medical Association says ongoing surgical and diagnostic backlogs will only worsen without immediate government help to address a strained health-care system.

The CMA found average wait-times increased by one-to-two months for the most common procedures in the first wave and it would take $1.3 billion in additional funds to tackle procedures sidelined from January to June because they were deemed non-essential during the pandemic.

A study ordered by the organization looked at the six most commonly delayed procedures: CT and MRI scans, hip and knee replacements, cataract surgeries and coronary artery bypass grafts, which all plummeted in April, when almost no cataract or knee replacements took place.

Although procedures gradually began to rebound in June, the report found more than 270,000 people had their MRI scans — which can detect serious disease or injury — delayed by a national average of nearly eight months, more than seven weeks longer than before the pandemic. Those waiting for knee replacement surgeries had to wait an average of 14 months, about two months longer than before the pandemic.

“The impact on wait times is just going to be the worst-ever in our system,” CMA president Dr. Ann Collins says.

“It’s going to have serious consequences the longer this pandemic goes on.”

ICYMI …

An original member of the Jamaican bobsled team featured in the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings” is imploring whoever stole the nose cone from a sled that appeared in the film to return it to a Calgary bar.

Devon Harris, who is also chairman of the Jamaican Bobsled Federation, says he’s not going to lose sleep over the missing bobsled shell, but is disappointed over the news.

“It’s gone too far now,” Harris says. ‘”Just bring it back.”

Police say the shell was last seen at Ranchman’s country bar last week as it hung outside below the roof of the building. The sled was a gift to to the business by the movie’s production crew after some scenes were filmed there. The bar closed last month.

“Cool Runnings” is loosely based on the true story of the national Jamaican bobsled team’s debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Harris, who lives in New York, says he saw a friend from Calgary post on Facebook about the stolen black bobsled shell with the Jamaican flag colours — black, green and gold — and immediately rolled his eyes.

He says the sled was a gift from a Canadian bobsled team and was later painted for the movie.

“It’s kind of like this work of art that somebody go hide in a basement and they are the only ones who have the opportunities to enjoy it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020

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Economy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate on hold – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate on hold Wednesday as it said the country’s economy won’t recoup the losses from COVID-19 until 2022, with the road to recovery dependent on the path of the pandemic.

In July, the Bank of Canada said it believed the country had been spared from a worst-case scenario.

The bank’s updated outlook in its monetary policy report said the rebound over the summer was stronger than expected as the country reversed about two-thirds of the decline seen in the first half of the year.

Officials estimate the economy will shrink by 5.7 per cent this year, but grow by 4.2 per cent next year, and 3.7 per cent in 2022, meaning gross domestic product won’t rebound to pre-pandemic levels for another two years.

In his opening remarks at a late-morning press conference, governor Tiff Macklem said it will take quite some time for the economy to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the path will be “uneven across sectors and choppy over time.”

“We know the pandemic is reducing investment and is likely to cause long-lasting damage to some people’s job prospects. These forces will reduce Canada’s economic potential,” Macklem said.

The report forecasts annual inflation at 0.6 per cent this year, 1.0 per cent next year, and 1.7 per cent in 2022.

The bank held its overnight rate target at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday, which is where it will stay until the economy has recovered and inflation is back on target.

The bank also announced Wednesday that it intended to buy more longer-term bonds because those have a “more direct influence on the borrowing rates that are most important for households and businesses.”

James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub.ca said the outlook suggests low interest rates until at least 2023, which is the earliest the bank anticipates the economy would be able to handle higher rates.

The projections for growth and inflation mark a return to the bank’s usual practice of giving a longer view for the economy in its quarterly monetary policy report.

The report said the six months of experience with containment measures and support programs, as well as more information on medical developments like vaccines, has given the bank a better foundation to make a base-case forecast.

Underpinning the bank’s outlook are two major assumptions: That widespread lockdowns won’t be utilized again and that a vaccine or effective treatment will be widely available by mid-2022.

The country has recouped about two-thirds of the three million jobs lost in March and April. Emergency federal aid has replaced lost wages for millions of workers, and provided loans and wage subsidies to struggling businesses.

The recuperation from the drop earlier this year has been uneven, the report notes. The hardest hit sectors, such as restaurants, travel and accommodations, continue to lag.

Workers in those sectors, as well and youth and low-wage workers, continue to face high levels of unemployment, the report says.

All may be hit hard again by any new rounds of restrictions, the report notes. Some areas of the country have already imposed such public health restrictions in the face of rising COVID-19 case counts.

“The breadth and intensity of re-imposed containment measures, including impacts on schools and the availability of child care, could lead to setbacks,” the report says.

“Long breaks in employment have the potential for longer-term impacts on the income prospects of vulnerable groups.”

The report said government aid has played a key role in providing a financial lifeline to individuals and businesses.

Changes to employment insurance and new benefit programs will increase households’ disposable income, officials write, adding that the bank expects government aid to “provide important support to the economy throughout the recovery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020

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Economy

Canadian economy won’t fully recover from COVID-19 until 2022: Bank of Canada

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Canada‘s initial rebound from the COVID-19 economic crisis was stronger than expected, but the second wave of the pandemic is poised to cause a “more pronounced” near-term slowing in the recuperation phase, the Bank of Canada said on Wednesday.

The central bank expects a smaller economic contraction in Canada in 2020, as compared with its July update, followed by slower than previously forecast economic growth in 2021. It did not change its growth outlook for 2022, with economic activity set to return to pre-pandemic levels at the start of that year.

The Bank noted its projections assume new outbreaks will be managed by local and targeted containment measures but said the impacts could be more severe than anticipated.

“There is a serious risk, however, that broader or more intensive restrictions could be required,” it said in its quarterly Monetary Policy Report.

The bank also said it did not expect the output gap to close until 2023. It forecast overall inflation to remain below its 2 per cent target through 2022.

 

Source: – Global News

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