Minister Bains Attends the Toronto Global Forum

News Release

Government and the private sector must boost spending on talent, research and innovative start-ups

September 12, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

In a period of low economic growth, Canada needs to invest in developing the talent and skills of its people. Canada should also focus on scaling up start-up companies and using the government's purchasing power to drive innovation. That's the kind of leadership that Canadians expect from their government.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda will put in place the conditions to create good-paying jobs for the middle class as well as those working hard to join it.

This is the message that the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, delivered today to an audience of business and public-sector leaders at the Toronto Global Forum.

In his remarks, Minister Bains emphasized the need for both government and the private sector to make smart investments in three key areas:

  • Talent: Expand work-integrated learning programs, such as internships, apprenticeships and continuous learning opportunities, for Canadians at every stage of their careers—from new graduates right up to the highest-ranking executives.
  • Research: Set big-horizon goals and create broad-based partnerships to fund ambitious research projects that solve complex, large-scale problems and spark commercial opportunities for the private sector.
  • Scale-up: Leverage the buying power of government, as the single-largest purchaser of goods and services, to support the growth of small and medium-sized companies that have the most innovative solutions.

Minister Bains concluded by issuing a challenge to the business community to spend more on research and development as well as talent development.


"Low growth does not have to be Canada's fate. We can seize the future and position Canada to outperform the rest of the world. An innovation economy that creates good-paying jobs for the middle class is within our grasp. Our government stands ready to be a meaningful partner in nurturing homegrown talent while attracting the best and brightest from around the world. We are investing in people, infrastructure and research excellence, which are the cornerstones of an innovation economy. But I also challenge our business leaders to make similar investments, which will power our country to a bright and prosperous future."

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

Quick facts

  • Canadians have participated enthusiastically during a summer of public engagement on the Innovation Agenda. More than 28 round-table discussions have been held across the country, and a web portal has received more than 90,000 hits and 1,300 ideas.
  • The Toronto Global Forum is an international conference fostering dialogue on national and global issues. It is held under the auspices of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA), which organizes annual summits bringing together heads of state, central bank governors, ministers and global economic decision makers.
  • The Innovation Agenda focuses on six areas of action:
    • Entrepreneurial and Creative Society – Developing the skills needed to create and compete, attract talent, and multiply social enterprises that address both social and economic needs
    • Global Science Excellence – Translating basic research into new products, services and technologies and facilitating the interconnections between science and economic opportunities
    • World-Leading Clusters of Innovation – Supporting the growth of world-leading clusters in Canada that will serve as the magnet for cutting-edge research, investment, talent and commercialization
    • Growing Companies to Scale and Accelerating Clean Growth – Supporting the start-up and scale-up of SMEs so that they become leading global players through well-developed value chains. It also means developing clean-tech solutions and promoting their adoption across the entire economy
    • Competing in a Digital World – Capitalizing on digital technologies, such as cloud computing, big data analytics and additive manufacturing, to give Canada a competitive edge on the new wave of disruption
    • Ease of Doing Business – Creating a regulatory environment that is conducive to innovation and smart risk taking where new players can easily grow by having access to finance, talent and markets

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Twitter: @MinisterISED


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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