Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  A new report on AI adoption shows businesses in Canada are lagging behind, coming in 20th place among OECD countries.

The report reveals a “scorecard” on AI adoption across various industries and provinces within Canada, and also how countries rank globally. At 24 per cent, Denmark has the highest rate of business AI adoption. 

These findings are according to a new research report, Automation Nation? AI Adoption in Canadian Businesses by the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University. 

Using Statistics Canada survey data, the report provides a snapshot of AI adoption across province, industry, firm size, and across businesses that are majority owned by equity-deserving groups.  

Among the key findings:

Across Canada, 4 per cent of businesses report that they are using AI in any way in their business.

  • Québec leads in Canada at a five per cent adoption rate.
  • Ontario, BC, and Saskatchewan follow closely at four per cent.
  • Alberta businesses follow at three per cent.
  • Manitoba, and the combined Atlantic & Territories region trail at two per cent.

Across different industries:

  • Utilities (17 per cent), finance and insurance (13 per cent), and information and culture industries (13 per cent) report the highest rates of AI adoption. 
  • Construction and food and accommodation industries are the least successful at one per cent. 

Across businesses of different sizes:

  • Businesses in Canada with 100 or more employees report the highest rates of AI adoption – 20 per cent are already using it.
  • Only six per cent of medium sized businesses (20 to 99 employees) and three per cent of small businesses (less than 20 employees) have adopted AI.

Across businesses that are majority owned by equity deserving groups:

  • Less than one per cent of businesses majority owned by women, Indigenous peoples, or people living with disabilities report having adopted artificial intelligence so far.
  • Businesses owned by immigrants and visible minorities have been more successful at adopting AI, with six per cent and nine per cent, respectively.

“With many new AI-based innovations coming to market, there has been a lot of fear around job security and the future of our society. The reality is we still have a very long way to go before the AI revolution arrives, and if Canada is to remain a global competitor in tomorrow’s economy, responsible AI adoption is critical,” said Angus Lockhart, report author and senior policy analyst at the Dais. 

The report also finds businesses that invest in their existing workforce and develop their skills are far more likely to have adopted AI tools. Growing programs that support upskilling will help empower workers who already know the needs of their firm and the existing technological environment within it. 

For more insight into the state of AI adoption by businesses in Canada and why some businesses have been slower to pick up AI than others, check out the full report, Automation Nation? AI Adoption in Canadian Businesses. 

For media interviews, contact Nina Rafeek Dow, marketing and communications specialist at the Dais,

About the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University 

The Dais is Canada’s platform for bold policies and better leaders. We are a public policy and leadership think tank at Toronto Metropolitan University, connecting people to the ideas and power we need to build a more inclusive, innovative, prosperous Canada. Visit us at

  • AI Adoption in Canada
  • AI Adoption by Industry

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