The Innovation Economy – Toronto/Waterloo

According to Paul Wells, Paul Martin becomes the first party leader to make any kind of announcement on the innovation economy.

The Liberal government will support the creation of large-scale integrated facilities that bring together university and private sector researchers to accelerate the commercialization of university-based discoveries. Prime Minister Martin unveiled $180 million in new support for four advanced research and development initiatives:

*the National Institute for Convergent Technologies to be established in Markham;

*the National Centre for Biomedical Innovation, associated with the MaRS discovery district in downtown Toronto;

*the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo; and

*the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC).

Phew. Lucky for us, there must be no such thing as an ‘innovation economy’ outside of the Toronto-Waterloo area of Ontario.

Geez. Is that politics at its best, or what?

So, out of curiosity, I looked at the new Red Book for hints about their Atl. Canada strategy for economic development (if we have ceded the innovation economy to Toronto/Waterloo).

So, here goes from the Securing Canada’s Success document that will convince us not to vote for Hitler:

  • The Paul Martin government has committed more than $1.3 billion over the next
    five years to strengthen support for innovation and local economic development through the regional development agencies (ACOA,CED-Q,FedNor, and WD) and the National Research Council.

Wait a minute, that seems about the same amount they committed over the past five years. Toronto/Waterloo and the Innovation economy get new money and we get the same?

  • A Liberal government’s approach to regional innovation and economic
    development extends well beyond this substantial investment in the regional
    development agencies. Liberal programs to support infrastructure; to assist small
    businesses; to fund environmental clean-up; and the on-going activities of the
    Department of National Defence and of departments such as Agriculture and
    Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Natural Resources
    Canada, among others, all contribute to regional development.

Didn’t the Libs cut thousands of jobs out of those departments in the 1990s and then hire thousands more in Ottawa-Hull in the late 1990s and early 2000s? Hmm…

That’s about it, folks.

To sum up.

The Liberal promise to put thousands of government jobs in Canada’s regions – nowhere to be seen.

No new money for economic development in Atlantic Canada.

Not even a hint at supporting the attraction of industry to the region.

The big new ‘innovation economy’ money to be spent in a two hour radius of Toronto.

Lot’s of talk about small business, however. Guess there must be more votes there.

Anybody think if the Libs get back in New Brunswick’s economic fortunes will improve?