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Government of Canada Building a Stronger Economy Through Continuing Commitment to Innovation and Research and Development

WATERLOO, Ontario, September 16, 2011 — The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today highlighted the Government of Canada’s priority to promote innovation, recognizing the crucial role it plays in enhancing the country’s productivity and economic prosperity. 

“In 2006, we announced our goal to create the best-educated, most-skilled and most flexible workforce in the world,” the Minister said in an address to the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. “We’ve backed that commitment since with a track record stronger than any government that came before us. We did so fully recognizing the important role these new investments will play in enhancing our productivity and economic prosperity.”

Since it was first elected, the Harper Government has made significant investments in innovation in every budget, and increased federal funding in science and technology every single year. Canada ranks first among the G-7 countries in terms of expenditures on research and development (R&D) in the higher-education sector as a share of the economy.

In recent years, the Government has emphasized the need to more closely link publicly funded research to business needs, and to obtain greater economic and social value from federal funding for research. “The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, spelled out in Budget 2011, contains a number of initiatives designed to meet those objectives,” said Minister Flaherty. “By targeting these investments towards innovation we recognized—like any forward-looking business would—the true benefits of investments in research both for short-term advantage and long-term gain.”

The Minister also noted, however, that Canada still lags other nations in overall business expenditures on R&D. He urged the private sector to increasingly make innovation a central component of business strategies to ensure that Canada can compete with the world’s best and transform promising ideas into pioneering results.

News source: Department of Finance


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