Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industries, innovation and infrastructure

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9Footnote 1 aims to spur inclusive and sustainable industrialization, innovation and infrastructure that combine to generate jobs and income. It sets goals that emphasize the potential benefits of:

Those include resilient infrastructure, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, especially in least developed countries, and improved access to financial services for small-scale enterprises. It calls for enhanced scientific research and technological capabilities with far more research and development workers, complemented by greater access to information and communications technology.

Canadian ambition under industries, innovation and infrastructure

Canada's ambitionsFootnote 2 are to foster sustainable research and innovation in Canada, and to ensure Canadians have access to modern and sustainable infrastructure.

The Government of Canada knows that enhancing skills, jobs and access to sustainable technologies and high-speed Internet services will create more opportunities for Canadians and innovative businesses across the country.

SDG 9 recognizes that innovation builds the foundation for industries and infrastructure to be major sources of economic strength.

Canada's targets are:

  • for 98% of Canadian homes and small businesses to have access to Internet at speeds of 50 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload by 2026, with the goal of connecting all Canadians to these speeds by 2030
  • improved access to the latest mobile wireless services
  • for a total of 1,000 EV Chargers, 22 natural gas stations, and 15 hydrogen stations along major highways, freight corridors and key metropolitan centres to be under development and completed by March 31, 2024
  • for 20,000 chargers in public spaces, on-street, at apartment buildings, retail outlets, and the workplace to be under development and completed by March 31, 2026

Measuring Progress: The Canadian Indicator Framework

In collaboration with federal departments and agencies, Statistics Canada has developed the Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) for the Sustainable Development Goals. The CIF includes 76 indicators specific to Canada, which measure progress using a set of nationally relevant, objective and comprehensive indicators. CIF indicators for SDG 9 are:

  • proportion of innovation in environment-related technology
  • gross domestic expenditure on research and development intensity
  • proportion of households that have access to broadband Internet service at speeds of 50/10 Mbps
  • proportion of Canadians that have access to the latest generally deployed mobile wireless technology
  • greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of value-added from the production of infrastructure assets
  • number of low carbon recharging and refueling stations under development and completed along major highways, and in rural and urban areas across Canada
  • number of low carbon recharging and refueling stations under development and completed in public places, on-street, at apartment buildings, retail outlets, and the workplace

What we are doing to improve industries, innovation and infrastructure in Canada

The Innovation and Skills Plan is a major redesign of the innovation policy landscape in Canada designed to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, to create well-paying jobs and foster the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups, such as women and Indigenous people, in the innovation economy. The Plan targets investments at all points along the innovation continuum, starting with people and skills and extending to fundamental science, to commercial applications and new technology adoption, and to accessing markets at home and abroad. Major components include:

The Government of Canada's strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, commits to support Canadian industrial innovation and conduct Canada's first-ever national infrastructure assessment to prepare for a net-zero emissions future.

Impact Canada seeks to reach a diverse group of problem solvers and innovators to solve economic, environmental, and social problems. Since 2017, the Impact Canada Cleantech initiative has invested $75 million in 6 initiatives, including:

The strategy High Speed Access for All: Canada's Connectivity Strategy committed to:

  • providing high-speed Internet access to 95% of Canadians by 2026
  • 100% of Canadians by 2030

With new investments in the now $3.225 billion Universal Broadband Fund, this target was accelerated to 98% of Canadians by 2026. The government is on track to achieve this target. See Canada's High-speed Internet Access Dashboard to see the progress and for more information. These targets will help close the infrastructure gaps in rural and remote communities and Indigenous communities.

The Canada Digital Adoption Program helps small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) boost their e-commerce presence and digitize how they run their businesses behind the scenes. The program provides funding and expertise to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

The First Nation Infrastructure Fund provides essential community infrastructure funding for First Nation communities to access high-speed Internet to support health and education services, as well as economic development opportunities, offering people in remote or isolated communities a fair opportunity to participate in the digital economy.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank's Growth Plan has identified $2 billion to connect approximately 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities, so Canadians can better participate in the digital economy.

The Government of Canada funds projects to foster innovation and green infrastructure through a number of programs, notably the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), the Canada Community-Building Fund (CCBF) and the Natural Infrastructure Fund (NIF).

  • ICIP Green Infrastructure Stream: provides funding for projects that enable greater adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change and climate-related disaster mitigation. It also ensures that more communities can provide clean air for their citizens. ICIP projects improve the resilience of communities and facilitate the transition to a clean growth economy, while also improving social inclusion and socio-economic outcomes for Canadians.
  • The CCBF is a permanent source of funding to provinces and territories, who in turn flow this funding to their municipalities to support local infrastructure priorities. CCBF allows for local project selection in 19 eligible categories, including public transit and community energy system projects. The fund promotes investments in increased productivity and economic growth, a clean environment, and strong cities and communities.
  • The NIF supports natural and hybrid infrastructure projects to further Canada's commitment to climate change resilience while contributing to national biodiversity goals and targets. NIF also helps to build awareness and increase the use of natural and hybrid infrastructure, by creating, expanding or enhancing a community's access to nature, furthering resilience to climate change, improving environmental quality, and protecting biodiversity.

Additionally, the Government of Canada provides funding for green infrastructure projects through the Green and Inclusive Buildings, to support the construction and adaptation of community buildings across Canada to reduce carbon emissions, advancing greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation measures, and encouraging best practices in building design for climate change resilience.

De-carbonizing Canada's transportation and industrial infrastructure includes a national Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales target of 100 % of new light duty vehicle sales by 2035 and will include interim targets of at least 20% by 2026, and at least 60% by 2030.These targets are being supported by measures such as:

To reduce emissions from medium-and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), the Government of Canada will aim to achieve 35% of total MHDV sales being ZEVs by 2030. In addition, the Government will develop a MHDV ZEV regulation to require 100% MHDV sales to be ZEVs by 2040 for a subset of vehicle types based on feasibility.

The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration (EVID) Program is supporting the demonstration of innovative solutions to technical challenges and other barriers for the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including in:

  • multi-residential buildings
  • cold-weather operation
  • public transit
  • autonomous vehicles
  • hydrogen trucks

Attracting international talent is important for Canada's economic success. The Government of Canada's Global Skills Strategy helps employers attract skilled workers to work in high growth and innovative industries, while the Start Up Visa program targets innovative entrepreneurs and links them with private sector organizations in the start-up community who will help them launch their business in Canada.

In June 2023, Canada announced Canada's first-ever Tech Talent Strategy to help businesses in Canada thrive in a competitive landscape by ensuring they have the talent they need, when they need it. This aims to ensure Canada is not only filling in-demand jobs today, but also attracting the skills and business talent to create the jobs of tomorrow. The Strategy includes open work permits of up to 3 years for H-1B Specialty Occupation visa holders in the US, the development of an Innovation Stream under the International Mobility Program, the promotion of Canada as a destination for digital nomads, and improving existing programs, such as the Start Up Visa program and those for workers in high-skilled occupations.

The Creative Export Strategy, led by the Department of Canadian Heritage in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada helps Canadian creative industries to maximize their export potential and stand out in global markets by providing:

  • funding for export projects
  • opportunities to participate in trade missions and industry events abroad to explore trade opportunities
  • export-related guidance and information
  • support in markets abroad to find and develop business opportunities

What Canada is doing to improve industries, innovation and infrastructure abroad

Working closely with other G7 members through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), Canada is promoting sustainable and resilient international infrastructure development in a number of important ways. In the past, the primary channels of Canada's support to Infrastructure have been through contributions to Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and through direct funding to social infrastructure projects such as schools, and health clinics and economic infrastructure such as energy, transportation, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

While this funding continues, Canada's support to investment in quality infrastructure is also currently being provided through its climate finance program as well as its International Assistance Innovation Program (IAIP). In addition, Canada's Development Finance Institute (DFI), FinDev Canada, since its inception in 2018, has invested $110 million in sustainable and resilient infrastructure and plans to increase its investments in this sector in the coming years.

Canada also supports efforts to develop quality, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure standards and certification based on the G20 Quality Infrastructure Investment Principles. Canada is also working with like-minded countries to ensure coherence and complementarity in infrastructure financing, including the role of DFIs and MDBs in this area.

Under Canada's 2018 G7 Presidency, Ministers of Employment and Innovation convened in Montreal under the theme of Preparing for Jobs of the Future to discuss how governments can better support their citizens to adapt and thrive in the new world of work. That year, the Development Ministers endorsed the Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact and pledged to encourage innovations that can reinforce social and economic resilience for those in fragile states or at risk of extreme weather events and other natural hazards.

The Government of Canada is working with the United Nations to accelerate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies of all kinds to developing countries through the Climate Technology Centre and Network.

As part of actions to advance affordable and clean energy, Canada along with the International Renewable Energy Agency launched a new global, multi-stakeholder platform to help remote communities transition to renewable energy.

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