Reflections on the 2017 Federal Budget, by CIOCAN President, Humza Teherany

As CIOs, we know the value of not only embracing but driving a digital economy. It is encouraging to see the new Federal budget putting some emphasis on innovation spending.   Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC, said the government can only do so much to prepare for the digital economy; education systems and the private sector must do the heavy lifting.  However, the funds directed to support IT skills training are a welcome boost that will provide at least some help to combat the chronic talent shortages that plague our industry.

With a budget that creates Innovation Canada, and pledges $950 million over five years to support innovators and build hubs for innovation (“super-clusters”), our hopes for Canadian businesses to seize the digital opportunities to grow are stronger today than they were yesterday.

At the CIO Association of Canada, our members – senior technology leaders representing every vertical across Canada – are well aware that innovation and digitization are a critical facets of our portfolios.  Our Association is making significant contributions to the national digital agenda: 

  • our CIO Peer Forum in April focuses on digital business
  • we collaborate with leading digital organizations across Canada
  • we are expanding our mandate by including CISOs as regular members of our Association

It is wonderful to see our national government, supplement and amplify our efforts. We look forward to collaboratively advancing the innovation agenda across our great country.


Humza Teherany, 

President, National Board, CIO Association of Canada
Chief Executive Officer, Compass Digital Labs &
Chief Innovation Officer, Compass Group Canada