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Investments made in Ontario will lead to cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technologies

Minister Bains announces $15.5 million for Toronto-area companies, which will result in less pollution and healthier communities

August 8, 2017 – Brantford, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Ontarians will benefit from new jobs created by innovations that power electric vehicles and reduce plastics in the environment, thanks to a $15.5-million investment by the Government of Canada.

This investment in six Toronto-area companies will create well-paying middle-class jobs as a result of the new business opportunities generated by the development of technologies that lead to less pollution and healthier communities.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

The investments include:

  • $3.8 million for Electrovaya Inc. of Mississauga to develop safe and long-lasting electric batteries for commercial vehicles, contributing to the prevention of climate change;
  • $3 million for BionX International Corporation of Aurora to develop a smaller, more powerful lightweight propulsion system to improve its award-winning e-bike systems;
  • $2.7 million for 3E Nano Inc. of Kitchener to create a new window coating to make buildings and vehicles more energy efficient, reducing energy consumption;
  • $2.2 million for GreenMantra Technologies of Brantford to develop new ways to convert recycled plastics into new products, resulting in less waste sent to landfills;
  • $1.9 million for Peak Power Inc. of Toronto to improve the energy storage capacity of batteries, ultimately reducing costs for businesses and greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • $1.8 million for Vive Crop Protection of Toronto to create environmentally friendly products and technologies that increase farm efficiency and productivity.

These projects are being funded through Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which works with Canadian companies to bring early-stage clean technologies to market.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Quotes

“Our government’s investments in clean technology reflect our commitment to protecting the planet. But they also point to a clear and strategic direction for economic development through innovation. That’s because innovations in clean tech will lead to products and services that have an impact on all sectors of the economy. And clean tech has the potential to create thousands of well-paying jobs for Canadians. That’s how innovation leads to a better Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“From transportation to waste management, these companies demonstrate the strength and range of Ontario clean tech. Sustainable Development Technology Canada is proud to partner with these entrepreneurs to get their new technologies to the marketplace and deliver real environmental and economic benefits to all Canadians.”

– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

“We are thrilled that SDTC will provide a portion of the capital necessary for this important project. This pilot plant will enable us to scale up our patent-pending process for sustainably reusing of one of the world’s least recycled plastics.”

– Kousay Said, President and CEO, GreenMantra Technologies

Quick Facts

  • To help clean technology firms grow, the Innovation and Skills Plan includes investments of nearly $1.4 billion in new financing on a cash basis, starting in 2017–18. This new financing in the form of equity investments, working capital and project finance will be made available to clean tech innovators through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.
  • Budget 2017 also commits $400 million to recapitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund, which supports the development and demonstration of early-stage clean technology projects.
  • Canada is committed to growing the economy while meeting carbon-emissions targets. The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, developed with provincial and territorial partners, outlines how Canada will drive innovation and growth while reducing carbon pollution.
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Arevig AfarianInvestments made in Ontario will lead to cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technologies

Canadians deserve affordable, high-quality wireless service with dependable coverage in town and out

Consultation launched for 600 MHz spectrum auction to support high-quality networks and business opportunities for all regions

August 4, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The surging popularity of smart phones is fuelling increased consumer demand for quality wireless mobile services from telecommunication service providers.

In remarks delivered at the Canadian Telecom Summit in early June, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, highlighted the Government of Canada’s commitment to encouraging the advancement of telecommunication services by focusing on the three things that matter most to Canadian families and businesses: high-quality networks, broad-reaching coverage and affordable prices. The Government is following up with the launch of a consultation on proposals to auction spectrum. The 600 MHz auction will improve wireless mobile services in both rural communities and urban centres.

Minister Bains announced the consultation today, signalling that the Government looks forward to hearing from interested Canadians, as well as telecommunication service providers and consumer groups. He added that Canadians need improved wireless service to participate in the digital economy, expand their businesses and learn new skills, which create new opportunities and build stronger communities.

Low band spectrum, such as the 600 MHz band, is well suited to carrying signals over long distances. It is also less affected by building structures than higher frequency bands, making it ideal for next-generation wireless services in both urban and rural settings.

By increasing access to spectrum for mobile services, the Government is also supporting future economic and creative breakthroughs that will position Canada as a global centre for innovation and create more jobs and business opportunities.

Quotes

“When it comes to telecommunications, Canadian consumers deserve the very best. At a time when middle-class Canadians are concerned about both the availability and the rising cost of these services, our government will encourage more private sector competition and investment in services that have become essential in a digital economy. Making this spectrum available for commercial mobile services has the potential to benefit millions of Canadians in both urban and rural areas. Canadians deserve improved coverage, service quality and affordability, as well as the economic benefits and opportunities for all regions of the country provided by increased access to wireless spectrum for mobile services.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Through this consultation, the Government is proposing measures to support competition and encourage investment in wireless services.
  • Interested parties will have until October 2, 2017, to comment on the proposals outlined in the Government of Canada’s consultation paper.
  • Canada’s networks rank second among those of G7 countries for average wireless connection speeds.
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Arevig AfarianCanadians deserve affordable, high-quality wireless service with dependable coverage in town and out

Minister Bains celebrates Canadian technology on border-crossing self-driving car

July 31, 2017 – Windsor, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadians and Americans working in the auto sector will benefit from new jobs and business opportunities as emerging technologies lead to the development and production of self-driving cars.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, witnessed the demonstration of a vehicle that has the ability to take over driving, monitor the surrounding environment and inform the driver where and when human interference is needed.

This cross-border event demonstrated innovative technology that goes beyond human driver assistance to partial and conditional automation. This marks a milestone in the development of self-driving cars.

Canadian company Magna and U.S. supplier Continental collaborated in demonstrating this technology.

This initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year effort to create jobs for the middle class.

 

Quotes

“Today’s demonstration is an important example of how our ongoing cross-border cooperation is advancing connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. Our government is committed to creating good middle-class jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. By continuing to work with the United States, we will equip our citizens with the skills they need to design and build the cars of the future on both sides of the border.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2017 allocated $50 million over five years for work with key partners to examine new and disruptive transportation technologies.
  • Canada produces a vehicle every 14 seconds. That is 2.4 million vehicles a year, which has an enormously positive impact on our economy and contributes $18.2 billion to our GDP.
  • Along with Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, Ontario is part of the largest automotive manufacturing cluster in North America and produces 29% of light vehicles within that cluster.
  • This cluster is successful because of the integrated nature of the American and Canadian automotive supply chain. In fact, it is estimated that automotive parts produced in Ontario or Michigan can cross the border up to six times before the finished vehicle is ready to roll off the assembly line.
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Arevig AfarianMinister Bains celebrates Canadian technology on border-crossing self-driving car

Canada’s Entrepreneurs and Innovators Will Benefit from the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan

Plan will create jobs, skills and new businesses opportunities for middle-class Canadians

July 14, 2017 – Montréal, Quebec – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Entrepreneurs and innovators in this country will benefit from the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a comprehensive strategy to turn more promising ideas into market-ready innovations. Putting Canada at the forefront of innovation will create thousands of middle-class jobs, generate new business opportunities and equip Canadians with the in-demand skills they need for the well-paying jobs of today and into the future.

That was the message delivered by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, during Startupfest, an annual conference attended by entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and business mentors from across the country.

Under the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government is supporting the growth of small and medium-sized businesses by encouraging the public and private sectors to collaborate in bringing more early-stage research to market. Specifically, the Government is investing in:

  • Initiatives, such as the $1.2-billion Strategic Innovation Fund and $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative, to increase business investment in research and development, which accelerates innovation and creates highly skilled jobs.
  • Faster access to top talent from all around the world, under the Global Skills Strategy, which will support the scale up of high-growth Canadian companies and keep the jobs they create in this country.
  • A program that supports small businesses interested in having the federal government as a first buyer and early adopter of their innovations.
  • Venture capital funding for high-growth firms.
  • Simpler, more coordinated access to business innovation programs administered by the federal government.

By providing more direct support for innovation activities, the Government can play a key role in creating industries that never existed before as well as new companies that will be globally competitive. And as these companies grow, they will create more middle-class jobs for Canadians.

 

Quotes

“Where innovation happens is where many of the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. That’s why our government is making the smart and responsible investments to encourage more innovation by Canadians, especially the hard-working entrepreneurs and small business owners who form the backbone of our country’s economy. They create the well-paying jobs that often equip Canadians with the in-demand skills they need for future jobs. That’s how innovation leads to a better Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Small and medium-sized businesses employ 90 percent of the private-sector workforce and account for about 40 percent of GDP.
  • The Strategic Innovation Fund is a $1.2-billion investment to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy.
  • The $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative will support up to five dense areas of business activity that accelerate Canada’s global advantage in highly innovative industries such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital technology, health/biosciences, clean resources as well as infrastructure and transportation. Superclusters have high concentrations of talent that drive the innovation activities that create middle-class jobs.
  • The Global Skills Strategy provides high-growth firms facing skills shortages in specific areas with faster access to the highly skilled international talent they need to scale up and grow.
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Arevig AfarianCanada’s Entrepreneurs and Innovators Will Benefit from the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan

Nation-Building Through Diversity and Inclusion

Nation-Building Through

Diversity and Inclusion

Navdeep Bains

On April 17, 1985, Section 15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect, ensuring that in this country, individuals cannot be discriminated against on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. Those words are an expression of Canadian values, not just for the huge number of individuals directly protected by them but for an entire nation. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains is among the millions of Canadians for whom those values are deeply personal.

I am a Canadian Sikh born and raised in Toronto. My mother worked the night shift at a cookie factory, but she was always home every morning to tie my turban. I have had many good turban days because of her.

I am also a child of the Charter. I belong to the generation of Canadians who came of age under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms—a foundational accomplishment in our nation-building. Our country’s diversity and the values of openness and inclusion made the Charter possible. In return, the Charter reinforces those values, which make our country even stronger.

I was a teenager when the Charter first became real to me. It was 1989 and Baltej Singh Dhillon became the first Sikh Canadian to be accepted into the RCMP—on the condition that he choose between his duty and religion. Duty to the RCMP required a clean-shaven face and wearing the standard headgear. But as a Sikh, Dhillon had a beard and wore a turban.

When Dhillon chose to defend his religious rights, it was the first time I saw someone who looked like me speak so publicly about my faith. I was moved by his courage and conviction.

Dhillon’s appeals to the RCMP Commissioner triggered months of heated debate and protest across the country. In March 1990, the Commissioner, citing the Charter, finally agreed to allow beards and turbans to be part of the force’s dress code. And Baltej Singh Dhillon forever changed the face of the iconic Canadian Mountie.

As a young Canadian following Dhillon’s story, I was filled with pride that the Charter had prevailed. But it also opened my eyes to the challenges of living in a pluralistic society. I learned that acceptance of difference is a constant conversation, an ongoing negotiation. Inclusion needs to be nurtured and openness defended.

This year marks our nation’s150th birthday and the 35thanniversary of the Charter—milestones that serve as reminders that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Everyday heroes such as Baltej Singh Dhillon paved the way for the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. That includes the freedom to practise religion without having to choose between faith and career.

Years after his victory, Dhillon said:

“We still have a lot of work to do in the building of this country. Being of strong character, having confidence in your abilities and anchoring them in the legacy of your lineage are prerequisites for those who want to contribute.”

I am in public life today in part because I was inspired by Dhillon. I want to do my part to defend Charter rights and promote equality of opportunity for everyone. That’s why in 2005, I voted in favour of same-sex marriage legislation in the House, despite opposition from faith communities, including my own. That’s why in 2011, I took a stand to defend the kirpan when Quebec legislators pushed for a ban in the provincial legislature.

That’s why in 2015, when the government of the day took steps to ban women from wearing a niqab while taking the citizenship oath, I opposed the move. And that’s why earlier this year, I supported our government’s Motion 103, which called on all parliamentarians to condemn Islamophobia.

The Charter is not a buffet. We cannot pick and choose which rights and freedoms to support, or which groups are worthy of protection under the Charter. I am proud to serve a government that believes in upholding the constitutional rights of all Canadians.

I am also proud to put the values of openness, diversity and inclusion into action. My first act as a cabinet minister was to reinstate the mandatory long-form census, which was eliminated under the previous government. This important survey of our population enables us to measure our nation’s progress in reflecting the diversity of our communities. Without the census, we are blind to the gaps that fuel inequality in all aspects of our daily lives.

I have also introduced legislation that promotes more women, cultural minorities and other underrepresented groups to the highest levels of leadership in corporate Canada. The comply-or-explain provisions of Bill C-25 would put pressure on the country’s publicly traded companies to better reflect the diversity of their shareholders, customers and communities in which these companies do business.

I firmly believe it is Canada’s moral duty to promote diversity and inclusion. These values also make good business sense. As other parts of the world turn inward, I’m proud that Canada remains open to people from all backgrounds, whether they are refugees from war-torn countries or highly skilled professionals in high growth industries. Our open society has attracted generations of innovators and entrepreneurs who have found in Canada a place to fulfill their potential.

Our country benefits from the talent and hard work of newcomers, who contribute by creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity for Canadians. We are a stronger country as a result. Indeed, our diversity gives Canadians a competitive edge in a global economy that depends on people’s ability to navigate through different cultures and languages.

Diversity also drives innovation, which depends on good ideas that come from the largest talent pool possible—a global pool. That’s why I have championed our government’s Global Skills Strategy, which enables Canadian companies to more quickly and easily recruit highly skilled, in-demand talent from around the world.

For Canada to succeed over the next 150 years, we must continue to engage in nation building based on the strength of our diversity and the values of openness and inclusion. Our future prosperity depends on them.

Navdeep Bains is Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the MP for Mississauga–Malton.

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Arevig AfarianNation-Building Through Diversity and Inclusion