Ottawa: In a period of low economic growth, Canada needs to invest in developing the talent and skills of its people. Canada should also focus on turning start-up companies into globally competitive successes and use the government’s purchasing power to drive innovation.
These are the priority areas of the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda, a plan to drive economic growth, while creating well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
This message was delivered by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the Public Policy Forum’s Growth Summit.
Minister Bains participated in a discussion with the Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada. Minister Bains compared notes with Mr. Manley about the economic conditions and challenges faced by Canada during his tenure as minister of the same portfolio in the 1990s.
During the discussion, Minister Bains emphasized the need for both government and the private sector to make smart investments in three key areas:
People: Expand work-integrated learning programs, such as internships, apprenticeships and continuous learning opportunities, for Canadians at every stage of their careers—from new graduates right up to the highest-ranking executives.
Technology: Set big horizon goals and create broad-based partnerships to fund ambitious research projects that solve complex, large-scale problems and spark commercial opportunities for the private sector.
Companies: Leverage the buying power of government, as the single-largest purchaser of goods and services, to support the growth of innovative companies that have the potential to be globally competitive.
Navdeep Bains said: “The government is prepared to think big, aim high and act boldly to drive economic growth through innovation. Our government has a plan to create the conditions for well-paying jobs for the middle class, growth across all industries and an improved quality of life for all Canadians. With this plan, Canada can outperform the rest of the world.”
Canada’s Public Policy Forum is an independent, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the quality of government in Canada through dialogue among leaders from all sectors of society.
Canadians have participated enthusiastically during a summer of public engagement on the Innovation Agenda: 28 round-table discussions and thousands of digital interactions have yielded over 1,300 ideas to date.