Evidence of meeting #29 for Industry, Science and Technology in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was atlantic.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Bruce Archibald  President, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Paul LeBlanc  President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Sweet

I'm sorry, the preamble was long on that one, so—

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

There you go.

9:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

There was passion.

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Sweet

Yes, we saw that demonstrated, as one of the best examples yet.

Mr. Harris, you have five minutes.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you, Minister.

After that lengthy preamble, and certainly some great information about Canada's nuclear industry, I would like to remind the government that the next time they shut down the reactors for safety reasons, they should not push them back into service too fast, because good things can happen, and safety has to come first.

Following Mr. Hsu's questions about metrics just very quickly, you mentioned that both science and technology and FedDev are developing metrics. Do you have a timetable for this, and when can we expect to see what methodology is being used?

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

There's really no timetable. We continue to work; programs evolve on their own. As you well know, the panel's report from Mr. Tom Jenkins on research and development in Canada has given the government a number of opportunities to improve how we incent businesses to do more research and development. As those programs evolve, metrics—again, as specific as we can make them—will be developed.

That said, I still want to remind Mr. Harris, if I can, that Canada is recognized as already having some of the highest metrics. Job numbers are the big thing that everybody wants to hear about: how many jobs? As you've heard many times, we have created more jobs, have more people working now, than we had pre-recession. We have the strongest economic growth of some of the industrialized nations. This is all good news.

But we have had areas and opportunities in which we could measure other things besides jobs. Those are the desires of our organization to see whether our ability to diversify a community's economy has actually worked. There will be a few more years of data collection before we start to analyze that data with the metrics that we develop.

I would like to say, too, if I can just quickly, on the isotope issue, that Canada is investing very heavily in next-generation isotopes for medical diagnostics and treatment. Funding for that has been in every budget, Mr. Harris, that your party has voted against. The next time we bring a budget forward that has the opportunity to improve the health of Canadians, you might want to vote for it.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

With all due respect, Minister, I hope that the next time your government puts forward a budget, it won't contain everything but the kitchen sink and will actually focus on the budget itself.

Now, you mentioned—

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

It doesn't contain the kitchen sink, so it's good to know you read it.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

—that we're far from being in the lead in business development, but I see in the budget, of course, that community economic development is losing—

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

I'm sorry, I didn't hear the last part. I apologize.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Oh, it was just that you mentioned that we're far from first in funding business development, but I see in the budget—

9:30 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

That's actually not what I said. I said we were far from number one in business expenditures—business spending money on research and development.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Okay, thank you for the correction, but it doesn't change. In the budget, community economic development is losing $33 million, and of course, business development is losing $16 million in funds.

How are we supposed to encourage business to spend money when we're pulling money back?

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Actually, we're not pulling money back. This is reallocation. The funding available is exactly the same. Let me ask Dr. Archibald to explain again the transfer between, as programs changed.