Supporting jobs and skills through defence purchases

News release

Defence procurements support skills development for Canadians

May 29, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada’s defence and major Coast Guard purchases result in billions of dollars of work for Canadian companies and support thousands of jobs annually. Going forward, they will also contribute to the development of a highly skilled and diverse workforce.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, underscored this today while at CANSEC, Canada’s largest defence and security trade show, where he helped unveil the new Canadian Industrial Leadership Award (CILA). A joint initiative from L3 Technologies, Thales Canada and CAE Inc., CILA will offer fully paid internships/co-ops to 10 female students with demonstrated leadership and academic skills. The students will work on innovative projects to support their education and receive mentorship in STEM disciplines.

The companies created this program as a result of the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, which requires winning bidders of defence contracts to invest the value of the contract back into the Canadian economy.

Minister Bains also announced updates to the Policy that will promote the development of new skills. Specifically, prime contractors will now receive additional credit through the ITB Policy for investments in skills development and training for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

A new cyber certification feature was also added to improve access for Canadian small and medium-sized firms seeking opportunities related to defence procurement. This will help advance the Government’s commitment to setting and promoting a national standard for cyber protection among Canadian businesses. The addition follows the publication of the 10 principles that make up Canada’s new Digital Charter, one of which states that Canadians should be able to rely on the integrity, authenticity and security of the services they use and should feel safe online.


“In a competitive global economy, Canada can’t afford to leave talent on the sidelines. Through the ITB Policy, the government is helping to ensure the development of a more skilled and inclusive workforce. The Canadian Industrial Leadership Award is a great example of how our policy can promote investment in the advancement of women in STEM. Going forward, the enhancements to the policy that were announced today will also motivate new investments in skills development and training for Indigenous peoples. It will also lead to improved access to cyber certification for small and medium-sized businesses, allowing them to better compete in this innovative industry.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • The ITB Policy encourages companies to establish or grow their presence in Canada, strengthen Canadian supply chains, and develop Canadian industrial capabilities in areas such as innovation, research and development, supplier development, and exports.

  • The ITB Policy includes the Value Proposition, which motivates bidders on Canadian defence contracts to put forward proposed investments toward their ITB obligations when making their bids.

  • As of January 2019, the overall portfolio of ITB obligations included 161 projects valued at almost $47 billion, with $36.1 billion in business activities already completed, $7.1 billion of activities in progress and $3.7 billion in unidentified future work opportunities.

  • The Canadian defence industry includes over 660 firms with more than $10 billion in sales, supports close to 60,000 jobs in the Canadian economy, and employs highly skilled workers in high-quality jobs.

Associated links


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Stay connected

Find more services and information at

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on social media.
Twitter: @ISED_CA, Facebook: Canadian Innovation, Instagram: @cdninnovation and LinkedIn

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: