Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the member has asked some very specific questions. We could get the list of corporations and the number of jobs and so on from statistics in the department.
The point is that we have a program that has facilitated business opportunity very well. There are privacy rules. My colleague well knows that if a corporation does not want all information about that corporation released, there is a difficulty in releasing all the information about a corporation that is actually working within a program.
I have been here as long as my colleague has, and quite a bit longer as a matter of fact, and I can assure all members of the House that no minister to my knowledge has said the moneys will be repaid in five years. Certainly Mr. Rock did not say that. Mr. Rock may have said paybacks will start at a certain point and continue to build over a time period but not pay back the money in five years.
The government's priority is to ensure that scientific advances in research and innovation in Canada translate into jobs and into productivity in this country. We play a critically important role in risk sharing partnership with Industry Technology Canada and its key instrument is this program. It is a program designed to partner with companies to make technology investments possible in Canada.
Technology Partnerships Canada targets key strategic technologies: wireless, biotech, environmental and aerospace. Without a vital instrument like TPC, many of our R and D project advances would not occur. TPC investments are risky and there is no question about that, but the program is not intended to be a chartered bank. It is intended to give opportunities to those who would advance technologies in Canada.
Some 89% of the projects were invested in small and medium sized businesses, companies that often experience difficulties in securing traditional private lenders for money. TPC takes risks that result in innovative technologies being advanced in this area. The risks are assessed project by project and TPC performs rigorous due diligence tests in order to ensure that the risk is within reason. This procedure returns the optimum in investments and opportunities.
I can talk about the opportunities in my own riding of a corporation that announced it was going to Mexico and as a result of the TPC investment, it is now investing $300 million in the Chatham-Kent area. It is advancing and bringing diesel technology to Canada which we otherwise would not have had, and we are looking at some very positive results as the result of that corporation creating a thousand jobs which would have gone elsewhere.
These kinds of investments are not just in one area, but they go from area to area right across Canada. Without that type of investment and without that type of opportunity, we would lose a tremendous number of jobs. We would not remain competitive in many industries, and research and technology would not happen in Canada.