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Jun 17

Shred the SR&ED Credit? Supporting R&D and Commercialization in Canada

Webinar with Robert Asselin, John Lester and Stephen Lopes

Sponsored by:

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

Please follow this link or contact events@cdhowe.org to register.

The federal government’s Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit provides over $5 billion to Canadian companies each year in an effort to support research and development. Yet, experts have long questioned the effectiveness of SR&ED: has the program contributed to real progress in R&D? How can the SR&ED framework be improved? Are there viable alternative to SR&ED, such as an IP Box? Please join the C.D. Howe Institute on Friday, June 17 to hear an expert panel tackle these questions and determine Canada’s path forward in driving R&D, innovation, and commercialization.

Robert Asselin, Senior Vice President, Policy, Business Council of Canada

Robert Asselin leads the Council's work on economic recovery and the development of policies that contribute to economic growth and job creation. He is also responsible for fiscal and tax policies.

Prior to joining the Council, Robert was Senior Global Director, Public Policy at BlackBerry. Robert brings more than 10 years of experience in providing economic advice to government, including in roles as Policy and Budget Director to Canada's Finance Minister and as Policy Advisor to Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Justin Trudeau.

Robert also spent nearly a decade in academia as Associate Director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and as Visiting Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He continues to serve as a Fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and at the Public Policy Forum.


John Lester, Executive Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

John Lester is an Executive Fellow with The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. He is a former federal government economist who writes on public policy issues. John’s last public service assignment was Director of Research for the independent Panel Review of Federal Support to Research and Development. Prior to that, he managed the Tax Evaluations and Research Group at Finance Canada. Since leaving the public service, John has published papers with The School of Public Policy, the Canadian Tax Journal, Canadian Public Policy, the C.D. Howe Institute, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. His research interests include cost-benefit analysis of tax incentives for business investment, particularly those related to R&D and innovation, government support for small business and entrepreneurship, tax expenditure analysis, and the burden of the public debt.


Stephen Lopes, Partner, Global Investment & Innovation Incentives, Deloitte

Stephen supports his clients through their investment, innovation, and operational finance decision making processes. Stephen has worked from coast to coast having spent time with Deloitte's Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto practices, in various roles including building and developing new service offerings, new practice areas, and leading and managing some of our practice’s most complex and demanding engagements.

Stephen currently Co-Leads our National Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) service offerings. The CEWS team has been brought together during the pandemic and now represents over 40 practitioners dedicated to supporting clients through what has become one of the most complex and nuanced pieces of legislation and incentives program in Canadian history. Stephen has also held various Marketplace positions including Ontario Gi3 Marketplace leader and National Gi3 Growth Strategy Leader. In addition, Stephen has worked with several start-ups in a mentoring capacity particularly in assisting them in addressing their early-stage and financing round risks, honing their growth and monetization plans, solidifying exit strategies, and managing their cash flows.

Over the last 13 years, Stephen has gravitated towards the Technology and Media sectors, having supported clients through some of their most significant and pivotal business investment decisions. This most recently includes taking on the Lead Tax Partner role for some of Canada’s most recognized Media and Technology companies.


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C.D. Howe Institute events are open to members and their guests. Members can register by contacting events@cdhowe.org.