Thank you, Mr. Chair. I thank the committee for having us here today.
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ contributes to two main public-policy objectives: encouraging middle-class workers to save, and channelling these savings to businesses in order to stimulate economic growth. Every year, we invest more than half a billion dollars to support SMEs in all economic sectors, at all stages of development. We invest directly in businesses and indirectly in private venture capital funds, in the form of unsecured venture capital.
Since 2005, the Fonds has contributed $1.2 billion in financing to 55 private funds, which has helped sustain the venture capital ecosystem not just in Quebec, but also across Canada. That's why we have the unwavering support of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, or CVCA.
The decision by Mr. Trudeau's government to maintain the 15% tax credit for our investors is backed by strong economic evidence. A number of chambers of commerce and business associations, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, have said as much to the Minister of Finance, and have been doing so since 2013.
Furthermore, according to CVCA data, the Fonds was the most active non-governmental venture-capital investor in Canada in 2015. We invested in each of the most active private and independent funds, including Real Ventures, iNovia Capital, Relay Ventures, Cycle Capital Management, and Lumira Capital.
In addition, private, independent funds in Canada collected about $8.4 billion from 2004 to 2015. Forty-one private funds, for a total of $4.6 billion, benefited directly or indirectly from investments from us or from one of the two other tax-advantaged funds in Quebec.
When it comes to retirement savings, studies have shown that the behaviour of our shareholders helps improve individual saving habits. Through the use of deductions at source, they develop healthy saving habits and then go on to save money at other financial institutions.
Strengthened by its renewed partnership with the Government of Canada, the Fonds is opening a new chapter in its history. In recent months, we have been doing some strategic planning to identify the best ways to contribute more to economic development and job creation, objectives we share with the Canadian government.
On April 22, I made a public announcement, before the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, that the Fonds will invest $3 billion by 2020 to support certain sectors of the economy, such as life sciences, agri-food, aerospace, and forest products. Of this amount, $900 million will be new money that we will raise by selling shares and bonds we hold on large markets and that we will reinvest in the economy here.
Other than the sectors I mentioned, we also plan to invest more in innovative businesses. To stimulate innovation, the Fonds has launched some new initiatives. For example, the Fonds has partnered with Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec to go on a big regional tour. We also plan to stimulate innovation with our business partners. We've already started targeting those that want to innovate and that could benefit from personalized support.
The development of socio-economic real estate infrastructure is also a big issue for governments. That's why the Fonds plans to invest $400 million to fund small and medium-sized real estate infrastructure projects, such as schools, libraries, sports complexes, and student residences. The projects we are considering will be developed in partnership with the cities, school boards, and governments. Eventually, as a result of the leverage effect, we estimate that our investments will generate more than $2 billion in new real estate projects.
As you can see, the Fonds has the means and the expertise to invest in businesses in all economic sectors and in all stages of development. We also have the means and the expertise required to stimulate innovation and invest in infrastructure. However, we do not work alone. We work with our shareholder-savers, with our business partners, and, of course, with governments.
We also work with our colleagues in the financial sector, including Investissement Québec, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and the venture capital funds across Canada we work with.