Canada’s Tech Sector Rivals Energy, Finance
The size of Canada's tech sector sits just behind natural resources and ahead of finance in a new study

A new study puts Canada’s tech sector ahead of finance and insurance and on par with mining and energy in terms of economic contribution.

The report by by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University broadens the definition for the tech sector to include aerospace and pharmaceuticals, and pegs the tech sector contribution in 2015 at $117 billion, or 7.1 percent of Canada’s economic output.

The new numbers underscore the degree to which tech startup ecosystems have assumed a position of paramount importance to economies worldwide. Industries across the board, from healthcare to energy to finance, are seeking to leverage technology to make their operations more efficient and address consumer demand for more convenience.

The “mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction” sector accounts for 7.80 percent of domestic output, according to the latest April 2016 data from Statistics Canada. Finance and insurance, meanwhile, accounts for 7.06 percent.

A direct comparison using Statistics Canada data is difficult because technology falls across more than one industrial category, including “information and cultural industries” and “professional, scientific and technical services.”

BII+E said it developed its tech sector definition “from the ground up by adopting and applying methodologies first used by UK organization Nesta, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Brookings Institution.”