Business Development Bank of Canada Legislative Review

Participate in the consultation

Table of Contents


Canada's prosperity is driven by the competitiveness of its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their ability to seize opportunities in the global economy. Access to financing enables firms to acquire buildings and capital equipment, finance operations, perform research and development, and improve competitiveness. Ensuring appropriate access to a range of financial solutions is critical to unleashing the full potential of Canada's SMEs and maximizing their contributions to inclusive economic growth.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a financial Crown corporation wholly-owned by the Government of Canada, is Canada's only bank exclusively focused on providing support to SMEs and entrepreneurs. As part of its mandate, the BDC is required to operate as a complementary lender in the market, offering loans, investments, and services that supplement or complete services available from private sector service providers.

While the BDC has a public policy role, it also has a commercial requirement to be financially self-sustaining and does not receive appropriations from the Government of Canada. The BDC is governed by the Business Development Bank of Canada Act (BDC Act), and operates at arm's length from the Government of Canada. The BDC is governed by an independent Board of Directors, and reports to Parliament through its Designated Minister, currently the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development.

Consultation purpose

The BDC Act requires that a review of the legislation be conducted on a regular basis. The purpose of the 2022 Legislative Review is to evaluate the provisions and operations of the BDC Act and examine how the mandate of the BDC has evolved and might continue to evolve to support Canadian entrepreneurs and SMEs over the coming decade.

As part of the Legislative Review, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) on behalf of the Designated Minister, the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, is seeking input to ensure the BDC is able to continue to address the changing needs of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the modern economy. The public consultation will help support the evidence-based analysis and review of the legislation. This consultation is open to all Canadians including entrepreneurs, experts and stakeholders in academia, business and industry. The consultation is seeking input from Canadians on three priority areas:

  1. The BDC and the SME Landscape
  2. Analysis of the BDC Against Its Mandate
  3. The BDC’s Public Policy Role and Governance

How to participate

Stakeholders are encouraged to read the consultation paper and to complete the consultation survey by March 31, 2023 23:59 PST.

Your responses will be kept private in accordance with laws designed to protect your privacy. For more information on how we collect, use and protect data, please read our Privacy notice. If you have any questions or require an alternate format, please contact us at

This consultation is limited to the review of the BDC Act and does not cover BDC's day-to-day operations. If you have concerns regarding BDC's services or decisions, please follow BDC's complaint resolution process.

Next steps

ISED will review the comments received and table a report in Parliament.