OREANDA-NEWS. September 16, 2016. 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 scaling up startup companies and using the government's purchasing power to drive innovation. These conditions will create good?paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that fosters long?term growth and yields benefits for generations to come.

This is the message that the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, delivered today to an audience of business and public sector leaders at the Waterloo Innovation Summit.

In his remarks, Minister Bains emphasized the need for both government and the private sector to make smart investments in three key areas:

  • Talent: 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.
  • Research: 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.
  • Scale?up: Leverage the buying power of government, as the single?largest purchaser of goods and services, to support the growth of small and medium?sized companies that have the most innovative solutions.

Minister Bains concluded by issuing a challenge to the business community to spend more on research and development as well as talent development.

Also at the Waterloo Innovation Summit, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, and the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, reinforced these messages during a panel discussion that covered important issues such as supporting women's entrepreneurship, promoting diversity, and encouraging women's participation in both business and science.


"Low growth does not have to be Canada's fate. We can seize the future and position Canada to outperform the rest of the world. An innovation economy that creates good?paying jobs for the middle class is within our grasp. Our government stands ready to be a meaningful partner in nurturing homegrown talent while attracting the best and brightest from around the world. We are investing in people, infrastructure and research excellence, which are the cornerstones of an innovation economy. But I also challenge our business leaders to make similar investments, which will power our country to a bright and prosperous future."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"The Government of Canada recognizes the significant contributions of women entrepreneurs to the Canadian economy. I am fully committed to helping develop a truly inclusive innovation agenda that helps businesswomen reach their full potential and thrive in their endeavours."

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

"Innovation is built on discovery and fuelled by diversity. By supporting women scientists and entrepreneurs, we are not only encouraging greater diversity but ultimately enhancing the pool of ideas and innovation that will open doors to the future."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

Quick facts

  • The Waterloo Region is recognized as one of the fastest growing start?up ecosystems in the world. The University of Waterloo created the Waterloo Innovation Summit to foster global innovation conversations with the power to effect change and drive prosperity. Since June 22, Canadians have engaged with the Government of Canada more than 90,000 times online and in person as part of the inclusive Innovation Agenda consultation process.
  • The innovation conversation does not end with the formal engagement. As we continue on the path to an innovative future, Canadians are encouraged to provide more comments and ideas to drive growth, create jobs and improve the lives of all Canadians.