This week’s federal budget is winning kudos for proposing to support further collaboration between Canadian and Israeli companies.
The budget, unveiled April 19, proposes to provide additional funding of $10 million over five years, starting in 2021-2022, and $2 million per year after that, to expand opportunities for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in research and development partnerships with Israeli SMEs under the Canadian International Innovation Program.
“This will be sourced from existing Global Affairs Canada resources. The government also intends to implement an enhanced delivery model for this program, including possible legislation,” the budget stated.
The budget also proposes to provide an additional $2 million in 2021-22 to enhance the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIPS).
The program helps protect communities at risk of hate-motivated crimes by providing places of worship, schools, and community centres with funding to enhance their security.
Begun as a pilot project by the previous Conservative government in response to vandalism directed at religious and ethno-cultural communities, the Liberals, in 2017, doubled funding to $10 million over five years.
The program has helped synagogues, schools, and other Jewish facilities pay for lighting, alarm systems, closed-circuit cameras, motion sensors and other security measures. It funds up to half of costs, to a maximum of $100,000 per project.
In a statement, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre praised the government for expanding business ties with Israel and for growing the SIPS program.