Evidence of meeting #8 for Industry, Science and Technology in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was million.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Good afternoon, everybody. We have a long session ahead of us, so we're going to start on time.

Welcome, everybody, to meeting number eight of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

First, I'd like to thank everybody for coming today. Today, we have several witnesses to welcome to our committee, along with a number of people in our gallery all the way to you guys in the back and Canadians who are watching live from home on their TV sets.

I would like to welcome the Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism; the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science; and the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Along with the ministers, we have several senior public servants, officials from each department. I'd like to welcome you all for appearing before the industry committee. I'd also like to thank everybody working behind the scenes as well who have helped get all three ministers here today.

The mandate of our committee is vast and covers all three of your portfolios. We're thrilled that logistically it worked out so that we could meet you all at the same time. In fact, three ministers for three hours may be a committee record.

As a committee, we understand that a question may not pertain to just one ministry. Please feel free to ask any of the ministers questions, or the ministers can have other ministers answer those questions too, if it crosses over. We have a lot to accomplish today. There will be a lot of great discussion and perhaps some tough questions asked today, but I expect that we can do so respectfully. Everyone is eager to learn what the goals and priorities of each of our ministers are within the mandates that have been given to them by the Prime Minister.

I know we're all eager to ask a lot of questions, so I will keep this brief and I will explain how we're going to do this. We're going to start off with the ministers. Each minister will have 10 minutes. At the end of all three ministers, we will begin our line of questioning and will go from there.

Go ahead. Who will go first?

3:35 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

I'll start, if that's okay with the chair.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you, Minister Bains.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I really am pleased to be here in front of such esteemed colleagues and committee members. I truly do appreciate the opportunity to speak about my mandate letter, as you mentioned, and of course, about budget 2016 and the main estimates.

I'd like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge my colleagues here with me this afternoon: Minister Chagger, responsible for small business and tourism; and Minister Duncan, who is responsible for science; and of course my deputy minister John Knubley and my associate deputy minister Kelly Gillis.

Mr. Chair, I am here today as Canada's first Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. As you know, this is a department that over the years has had different names, most recently Industry Canada. The new name underscores that innovation and scientific discovery are key drivers of economic growth across Canada.

Our new name is also a clear signal of this government's recognition that the global economy is changing and changing fast. The speed and scope is absolutely phenomenal. Thankfully, Minister Duncan is helping shoulder a great deal of responsibility for making sure science has a strong place in the business of government; and Minister Chagger is working to stimulate economic development for small businesses across the economy and particularly in the tourism sector, where we're seeing tremendous growth opportunities. Of course, all of us do this with a keen eye on encouraging innovation across the economy, Mr. Chair.

Since being appointed last November, I have had an opportunity to engage my colleagues as we tackle our mandate and work to deliver on our priorities. For the first time in Canadian history, our mandate letters were made public. Our government is about openness and transparency; about performance and results. We are focused on outcomes.

Immediate action was taken to address many items in my mandate letter, including my announcement on the first official day.

I must confess, Chair, that this was a point of pride. The first official government announcement was to reinstate the mandatory long-form census, coupled with ongoing work to update legislation governing Statistics Canada whereby we're reinforcing the institution's independence.

I must say I've been quite impressed with the breadth and talent within the portfolio, including that in our department, the regional development agencies, and regional offices. As minister, I've had the opportunity to travel the country and visit our public service. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and to say how much we value their input.

When the Prime Minister decided to bring together all the regional development agencies under one portfolio, it made a lot of sense to me. I strongly believe that effective collaboration is one of the best ways to drive innovation. I happily accepted the responsibility of representing our RDAs at the cabinet table. Every year they invest close to $1 billion in communities across the country, helping to develop and diversify our economy.

As you know, this is a new portfolio with a new name, and we're building on a solid foundation. It's clear to me that Canada is well positioned for success. We have world-leading research institutions, we have the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs, and we have businesses and incubators and accelerators that transform breakthroughs in the laboratory into products that enhance the lives of millions of Canadians. We make R and D investments for the development of leading-edge technologies, including in the most traditional Industry Canada sectors, which continue to make a vital and an important contribution to our economy in sectors such as automotive—I know Brian will be happy to hear that and I support it—aerospace, and defence.

Another important initiative that we are supporting is the promotion of a stronger engagement in the digital economy, including by continuing to expand and improve broadband Internet access across the country, and by providing computers for schools and not-for-profit organizations to better teach digital literacy.

We understand the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. As a father of two young girls, I must say we must encourage more participation of more young women when it comes to STEM.

In terms of making investments, this is very key in budget 2016.

Ours is a forward-looking government. We know there is far more to do, as the Minister of Finance made clear on March 22 in our first budget.

We are taking a positive and optimistic approach to our future. That is why, in my first months on the job, I reached out to hundreds of CEOs from both small and large companies and in a variety of sectors. Fundamentally, they are looking for government to invest in people, in infrastructure and in innovation. And the response I received from them was very positive.

As I have told the CEOs, my number one priority is to build Canada as a centre of global innovation that is renowned for its science, technology, creativity, entrepreneurial citizens, and globally competitive companies. It's all part of our department's mandate.

I want to emphasize the word “our” because this truly is a team effort, and it's strongly reflected in the budget. The title of the budget 2016, Mr. Chair, as you know, is “Growing the Middle Class”. It is clear recognition that for Canada to succeed, our middle class needs to succeed and that we as a government can and must do more, not simply for those people in the middle class but for those who want to join the middle class as well.

For our part we're defining a bold new plan to help achieve that goal, our innovation agenda. Through this plan we will redefine how we support innovation and growth in the economy and this will be undertaken in collaboration and coordination with the private sector; the provinces, territories, and municipalities; as well as universities, colleges, and the not-for-profit sector, civil society. It truly will be a holistic approach.

I think most important for today's discussion is that we're looking forward to working with the members of this committee, which has a long history, a tradition of providing intelligent and insightful analysis on some of the most pressing issues that face our economy.

I note with great interest, Mr. Chair, that the committee will soon undertake—as you mentioned earlier today to me—a study of Canada's evolving manufacturing sector. As one of the largest investors in R and D annually in Canada, this is a sector that understands the importance of innovation and technology for its continued success into the future. What's more, manufacturing today is not what it was 30 years ago. New entrepreneurs, new approaches, and new markets—in other words, innovation—has reshaped the sector. I look forward to seeing the results from your work.

Beyond the manufacturing sector, Mr. Chair, I'd like to take some time to talk about how the government is taking action through the budget to help realize this vision of Canada as an innovation nation. For example, we are providing a $2-billion commitment to enhance and modernize research and commercialization facilities on Canadian campuses.

Minister Duncan can also tell you that we are providing the highest amount of new annual funding for discovery research in more than a decade, through an additional $95 million per year to the granting councils. This recognizes the fundamental role of investigator-led discovery research in an innovative society.

What's more, to promote clean technology and climate change adaptation we're providing over $1 billion to encourage investment in clean tech in the forestry, fishery, mining, energy, and agriculture sectors. Clean technology is key to sustainable economic growth and will play a critical role in Canada's transformation into a low-carbon, globally competitive economy. By supporting clean tech, we're seeking to reduce the environmental impacts of energy production in a way that will create jobs and leave future generations of Canadians with a sustainable and prosperous future.

To bring new forms of these technologies to market faster we're investing $50 million to support an organization new to the ISED portfolio, and that's Sustainable Development Technology Canada and its new SD tech fund. Specifically the money will go toward developing and demonstrating new technologies that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil.

We will also deliver on the government's priority of increasing high-speed broadband coverage by investing $500 million for a new program to extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote regions across this diverse and broad country.

Of course finally in this budget we have a mandate whereby we made a downpayment on one of the signature elements of our innovation agenda, supporting firms with an ambition to grow beyond our borders, ensuring they have the resources and support they need to reach their potential. Specifically we will invest $800 million to support innovation networks and clusters, and we will boost the highly successful industrial research assistance program, known as IRAP, by $50 million. This was really well received by small businesses.

I hope that it is clear that we have an ambitious goal of enabling innovation in all ways possible. This budget is right for its time, a time to be building our economy and investing in our future.

We believe a long-term approach will improve productivity and competitiveness across our economy.

I firmly believe that innovation is the key to the kind of sustainable and inclusive growth that we need to thrive in the global economy. That is why you see it at the core of our mandate and at the heart of everything we're doing across this portfolio. Ours is an ambitious set of goals, but I have every confidence in the capacity, ability, and talent of Canadians to work together to achieve them.

Again, Mr. Chair, thank you very much.

I'd like to thank the committee members for your time, and I'd like to thank my honourable colleagues, Ministers Duncan and Chagger, who will now say a few words.

I'd be happy to answer any questions following their remarks. Thank you very much.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you very much, Minister Bains.

We will move to Minister Duncan.

3:45 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan LiberalMinister of Science

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I'd like to thank the committee for having us. It's an honour and privilege to be appearing today. Like my colleague Minister Bains, I'm really looking forward to working with you all.

Before I start, I'd like to acknowledge my colleagues Minister Bains and Minister Chagger, as well as John Knubley and Kelly Gillis, with whom we have the privilege of working.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak today on the occasion of the tabling of the main estimates.

Mr. Chair, I am part of a government, and part of a team within Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, that believes in science. We know that science and empirical evidence must inform government decision-making.

It is not common for a team to open its playbook to the public, Mr. Chair, but that is just what we did in sharing our mandate letters. We want to change the tone of how we communicate and interact with Canadians by being more open and transparent. Of course, there's no better example of openness than our immediate action to allow federal researchers and scientists to discuss their work. As Minister Bains said, our first announcement was to reinstate the long-form census, and the next announcement was to allow our federal scientists to speak freely.

But there is so much more to our commitment to science. Just take, for example, Budget 2016.

Budget 2016 invests up to $2 billion to improve our research and innovation infrastructure at colleges, universities, and polytechnics. There's an additional $95 million per year to the granting councils to support discovery research. I'm proud to say that this is the highest amount of new annual funding for this purpose in over a decade.

To ensure that federal support for research, including through the granting councils, is strategic and effective, budget 2016 announces that I will undertake a comprehensive review of all elements of federal support for fundamental science over the coming year. The review will ensure that the full spectrum of research, from basic to applied, is balanced and is fully supported. Our goal is to ensure that investments in science are strategic, effective, meet the needs of Canada, and meet the needs of our research community.

We will also be establishing a new chief science officer position. This position will be key to ensuring that scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions and that the work of government scientists is openly communicated. This is a top priority of mine. I have conducted significant consultations within the research community, sought views from all members of Parliament, and examined best practices. I will be providing advice to the Prime Minister, and hope to be launching a search for the chief science officer within the next few months.

Mr. Chair, as per budget 2016, I will also work with Minister Bains to establish two new Canada excellence research chairs in clean and sustainable technologies. To ensure that youth pursue careers in STEM, in science, technology, engineering and math, the budget commits $73 million to help employers create more co-op placements for students in these important areas.

You will also see us focusing on encouraging the participation of under-represented populations, including women and indigenous peoples.

In budget 2016, we also committed to supporting Canadian leadership in genomics by investing $237 million for genomics research and applications through Genome Canada. From space and brain science to clean technology, stem cell, and climate change research, and so much more, we are delivering on our mandate and supporting a real innovation culture in this country.

The Prime Minister made a commitment to Canadians to pursue our policy agenda in a renewed sense of collaboration.

This will involve a large degree of teamwork and partnerships. We will work with other members of the cabinet, with provinces and territories, with foreign governments and international forums, and of course, with Canada's excellent universities, colleges, polytechnics, and non-profit research organizations.

Science plays a central role in a thriving, clean economy and in providing evidence for sound policy decisions. To be successful in a highly competitive global economy, Canada must continue to attract and development highly qualified, talented people performing world-leading research and generating new breakthrough ideas.

We believe that Budget 2016 represents a great step forward in achieving these goals.

To my colleagues here, again, I thank you for having us and I look forward to your questions.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you very much.

Finally, we will move to Minister Chagger.

3:50 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalMinister of Small Business and Tourism

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and members of the committee for inviting me to speak with you today. It is indeed a privilege to be here. It's great to be here with my colleagues as well at the same table.

I just want to take a quick moment to recognize the same people that my colleagues have also recognized, as well as the teams that we come with. Any good work is done because of all the work that we do and the teams that help us do that work, so I sincerely appreciate all the efforts.

I'm pleased to be part of an ambitious team here today to discuss the government's commitment to innovation, science, and economic development. My goal, as our country's first full Minister of Small Business and Tourism, is to work with my cabinet colleagues to foster a climate of success for small businesses and engage directly with our Canadian entrepreneurs and tourism operators.

To that end, in the fewer than six months since being sworn in I have already met with close to 250 stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Whether it's one on one or a great discussion around a table, their stories are inspiring and help our government deliver on what they need.

I am pleased to be part of an ambitious team here today to discuss the government's commitment to innovation, science and economic development.

My goal is our country's first full minister of small business and tourism is to work with my cabinet colleagues to foster a climate of success for small businesses across this country.

Budget 2016 sets us on a path to reshape the Canadian economy for the 21st century. This is a budget for the middle class, and that means it is also a budget for small business. If you own a small business, you work for your money, and especially if you are starting out, what money you have often goes right back into your business, not to mention the time, effort, and personal sacrifices small business owners make trying to grow and expand. When small businesses grow, they hire more people from their communities. Ninety per cent of all Canadians working in the private sector are working at a small or medium-sized business. SMEs account for about 40% of the GDP. They are the backbone of our economy.

Budget 2016 sets us on a path to reshape the Canadian economy for the 21st century.

This is a budget for the middle class. And that means it is also a budget for small business. Entrepreneurs work hard for their money and, especially if they are starting out, what money they have often goes right back into the business.

Not to mention the time, effort and personal sacrifices small business owners make trying to grow and expand.

When small businesses grow, they hire more people from their communities. Ninety per cent of all Canadians employed in the private sector work in small or medium-sized businesses. SMEs account for about 40% of GDP. They are the backbone of our economy.

When small businesses succeed, middle-class Canadians succeed, and that's what our economy needs.

We are boosting funding to the industrial research assistance program, which helps SMEs access technical advice and research and development project financing. As my colleague said, it has been very well received.

The budget also proposes to help business accelerators and incubators develop much needed research into performance. This information is not only crucial in helping these institutions benchmark their success and drive improvement, it also helps companies to choose their best options for support and government at all levels to increase the effectiveness of public investments.

With research, knowledge, and innovation, SMEs are well equipped for the next crucial steps in growing their businesses: exporting to global markets. This is a task our government is committed to making easier by working closely with our international partners to open new markets, and with the tools such as CanExport, which we launched earlier this year, a program that helps small businesses research global markets and find buyers for their products and services.

In line with the innovation agenda's goal, budget 2016 proposes a new initiative to help high-impact firms scale up and further their global competitiveness. With entrepreneurs and small businesses at the centre of this approach, firms will be able to access coordinated services tailored to their needs at each of the crucial steps of research, development, production, and expansion.

With research, knowledge and innovation, SMEs will be well-equipped for the next crucial step in growing your business: exporting to global markets.

Our government is committed to making this task easier by working closely with our international partners to open new markets and providing tools such as CanExport, which we launched earlier this year.

Mr. Chair, the second but no less important part of my title is tourism. The tourism industry is an important economic driver for Canada. It is a $90-billion industry sector.

Last year was an outstanding year for Canada's tourism sector. In 2015, overnight arrivals to Canada grew by 7.5% to 17.8 million, compared to that same period in 2014. If we consider that all international tourist arrivals globally grew by 4.4% in 2015, Canada is outpacing global growth. This is a tremendous accomplishment.

Canada needs to build on this momentum over the next year as we move toward our country's 150th birthday celebrations in 2017. This is an opportunity to showcase what Canada has to offer so tourists don't just visit, they keep coming back. It is an opportunity our government is seizing.

Last year was an outstanding year for Canada's tourism industry. In 2015, overnight arrivals to Canada reached 17.8 million. That's a 7.5% increase compared to 2014. If we consider that international tourist arrivals globally grew by 4.4% in 2015, Canada is outpacing global growth. This is a tremendous accomplishment. Canada needs to build on this momentum over the next year as we move forward towards our country's 150th birthday celebrations in 2017. This is an opportunity to showcase what Canada has to offer so that tourists do not just visit, they keep coming back. It is an opportunity our government is seizing.

Destination Canada continues to work with partners to enhance Canada's marketing in the U.S. It will also carry on its efforts in other international markets including China, the U.K., France, and Germany. What's more, the budget provides $50 million to Destination Canada to bolster marketing initiatives in important international markets around the world. Global travellers want to explore, live a life less ordinary, and leave their cares behind. That's what Canada has to offer and that's what will keep them coming back long after 2017.

Mr. Chair, let me join Ministers Bains and Duncan in again thanking the committee for this opportunity.

We welcome questions at this time.

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you very much to all three ministers.

I must apologize; in my haste to get right to the heart of it, I did not introduce our other two guests at the table. They are Deputy Minister Knubley and Associate Deputy Minister Gillis.

My apologies.

We will go straight into questions, beginning with Mr. Jowhari for seven minutes.

4 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Minister Duncan, Minister Bains, Minister Chagger, deputy minister, and assistant deputy minister, thank you for making the time today. We are privileged to have you joining the committee and sharing your thoughts with us.

At the outset, I'd like to thank Minister Chagger for making a special visit to my riding, the riding of Richmond Hill. We had the opportunity to be able to showcase some of the capabilities we have in being able to help with the innovation and growth agenda. I would also like to invite the other two ministers to join us, because we would be able to showcase that we have the building blocks to be an active participant in the growth of research development and innovation, and the growth of the economy.

I would like to also thank the Prime Minister for sharing your mandate letters with us, which gave us the vision and the general direction that your ministries will be taking, along with the sense of collaboration among many different departments.

On that note, I would like to start with you, Minister Duncan, and ask two questions. One is on the sense of the priorities, which I'll touch on shortly. The other one is about one of the things I understand we share a passion for, stem cell research, as well as the collaboration between the ministries.

Let's start with the first question. You touched on the office of chief science officer. Can you give us an update, aside from your starting to recruit for this position, and perhaps give us the findings from all the consultations you did? I know you reached out to all the MPs' offices to ask for some feedback.

The second question is specifically around stem cells. Can you expand on the scope of stem cells and how you are collaborating with other ministries, specifically the Minister of Health, to be able to promote that across Canada?

Thank you.

4 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

I'd like to thank my honourable colleague for the question.

I'll start by talking about the chief science officer. You're correct that as part of my mandate letter I am to create this position. Over the last several months I have met with hundreds of stakeholders, and have been busy travelling the country. We also reached out to chief science advisers and chief science officers in other countries to get ideas of best practices—for example, in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the U.S., and Israel. Our officials spoke to officials in other countries, and I spoke minister to minister. We wanted to see what was being done overseas that we might be able to incorporate.

We also did a large consultation with stakeholders across the country, with all our major stakeholders. What should a chief science officer position look like? What tasks should they undertake? What tasks should be undertaken first, and how should they engage with the research community? As you pointed out, I also reached out to all parliamentarians. I've been here for seven years, and I've never seen that.

We really wanted to get a broad consultation, and I'm pleased to see that those consultations are now complete. We're at the analysis stage—a term I don't use lightly. We are, after all, a ministry of science, so we're doing a real analysis. I hope to be starting a search in the coming months.

You also asked about stem cells.

For the committee, stem cells were really Canada's science. The breakthrough discovery occurred here in Canada in the 1960s by Drs. Till and McCulloch. Canada has led in this area. In the seventies and eighties they trained people who became international leaders. In 2001 these researchers came together to create the stem cell network, with 225 researchers and $80 million. I'm pleased to say that in budget 2016, there's $12 million for the stem cell network.

I think my colleague Minister Bains would probably like to talk a bit about stem cells, but I briefly want to say that there's so much promise. The reason the stem cell network is so important is that they are now ready to go to clinical trials. I know that for some people, stem cells are concerning. But people need to understand that today a skin cell can become a stem cell and possibly treat 75 conditions—that's the promise—from cancer to heart disease to immune disorders.

We do share, you and I both, a strong interest to support that research and hopefully one day to deliver on the promise of stem cells.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Do I have time?

Can we go back to the CSO? Based on that study, if one thing stood out that you learned from all this consultation, what would that one thing be?

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

I'd like to thank you for the question. I was really pleased. We received results from 74 different groups, which is very big, and as I said, we're at the analysis stage right now. As a good scientist, I can't preclude those results.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Fair enough. Thank you.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Thank you very much.

We are going to move over to Mr. Nuttall. You have seven minutes.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you to Minister Chagger, Minister Bains, and Minister Duncan for coming today and spending the time with us. I know your schedules are incredibly busy, and it is an honour to have you at committee with us. We certainly do appreciate that. Thank you for the work that you're doing and the dedication to your country, to your government, and to this House. It is very noble and we certainly do appreciate it.

As well, to the deputy ministers, thank you so much for being with us today.

I would like to ask some questions to Minister Bains. I'm going to read a quick section from your mandate letter, if that's okay with you.

As Minister, you will be held accountable for our commitment to bring a different style of leadership to government. This will include: close collaboration with your colleagues; meaningful engagement with Opposition Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and the public service....

It continues on.

Minister, in your mind, does “close collaboration” mean that you would value the input of members of the opposition to help inform your decisions for the best interests of all Canadians?

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

Thank you very much for the question, and I want to thank you again for your lively engagement in question period. I can see you're very actively engaged in that very fine House.

You're absolutely right. This is actually unprecedented, and it really speaks to the Prime Minister's desire to be open and transparent. We have three ministers here before the committee for three hours, and that clearly demonstrates the fact that we're looking forward to the opportunity not only to listen to viewpoints of members of the opposition, but to listen to members of all political parties and to have an opportunity to really get your input and insight.

Obviously, input is important, but government is about making decisions. The goal for us is this. We articulated what those decisions were in the budget. We laid out what our priorities were. We determined what that was, so the whole idea is that we value feedback very much, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with all parliamentarians.

April 14th, 2016 / 4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Thank you, Mr. Minister, so that answer I would take as a yes.

Do you value the input of the parliamentary committees?

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

I'm glad you asked that question because I am confident I mentioned that in my opening remarks. I do very much value the input not only of parliamentary committees but of all key stakeholders. I've had the opportunity to go out there and engage with industry, from small businesses to large businesses across the country, in different sectors. I've had the opportunity even to engage civil society because we all want to play an important role in growing a strong and robust economy that creates jobs and helps the middle class. I've had the opportunity actually to work very closely with my provincial counterparts and municipal counterparts, so it's something that I think is very consistent with the DNA of this government.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Thank you. Then I assume that you would also value the input of this committee in regard to the Bombardier bailout request?

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

Any kind of feedback.... I must confess there have been many articles written. Many people have written to me independently. Many people have pulled me aside in the House to provide me with their input. I must confess I receive a lot of feedback from a lot of people, and I have an open-door policy, sir.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Thank you, Mr. Minister, for your responses. It's encouraging, to say the least. I have enjoyed both seeing you in the hallways and being able to chat quickly on policy, but also seeing all of the articles written.

This committee has on a number of occasions now voted against holding any investigation, any report, any helpful opinion to the minister with regard to meeting with Bombardier, meeting with others who could provide assistance, and in that light, and since the minister has said that it is welcome, it is requested, it is accepted, I would like to move the following motion: that the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Economic Development of the House of Commons invite representatives from Bombardier Inc. to speak with the committee about their current financial status and the request for funding from the Government of Canada at their earliest convenience.

Seeing that we obviously have all-party support for such a study to take place, I assume we can move quickly on this, get all-party support, and move on.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

I'm sorry, one second. Mr. Nuttall, are you giving a notice of motion?

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Notice is not required, Mr. Chair, as I understand it because the matter is being discussed currently. The estimates allow for us to ask any questions and conduct any business related to the portfolios that are before us.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Dan Ruimy

Mr. Nuttall, as per the clerk, that is a substantive motion and therefore notice is required.