Mr. Speaker, the network of centres of excellence is supposed to be a national program of partnerships between the public, private and academic sectors to help commercialize research across the country. Yet Atlantic Canada was shut out of the last round of awards, even though an excellent project proposal on wind energy made it to the final cut.
This project had the financial support of the government of Prince Edward Island to the tune of $4 million and would have been located at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada at North Cape, P.E.I. We would have been able to build on that success story.
The limiting of Atlantic Canada to a peripheral role sends a very negative message. How can we ever catch up economically if the federal government refuses to invest in the region in an area where the province is prepared to step up to the plate and in an area where we have an advantage?
Are we being written out of any meaningful role in this country? Of the last 18 awards, Atlantic Canada got one.
I call upon ACOA to provide the funds required to establish the centre of excellence in North Cape now that it is painfully obvious the national selection process will never give us a fair hearing.