TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 28, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), emphasized investment, adoption of technology, and innovation as the Harper Government's key priorities during his address to the Economic Club of Canada.
"Our government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Our world is becoming smaller and more digital. To succeed, as a nation, we must fully engage in this new world. We must create its technology, capture its potential and reap its benefits," said Minister Paradis. "This means investing in research and creating new products and services. It means finding new markets, improving productivity and learning to do business differently."
In his remarks, Minister Paradis highlighted some of the Harper Government's recent measures to promote economic growth, modernize Canada's laws and spur private sector investment in research and development. Economic Action Plan 2012 provides substantial direct support for business innovation and makes available $500 million for venture capital.
An additional $110 million is allocated to the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) annually to expand the program's reach and services for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada. IRAP is the government's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises. It is a cornerstone of Canada's innovation system, and it is regarded worldwide as one of the best programs of its kind. Through its balanced approach of advisory services and funding, the program supports over 10,000 firms annually.
Since 2006, the Harper Government has invested nearly $8 billion in initiatives supporting science, technology and the growth of innovation firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for post-secondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing.
The Economic Club of Canada is one of Canada's leading non-partisan venues for public policy debate. Since 2003, the Economic Club has been staging events across the country and working to bring its members and guests face to face with the most important, relevant and influential leaders of our time. Each year, the Economic Club hosts more than 100 events featuring leading policy makers and business leaders from across Canada and around the world.