Speech by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, PC, MP
Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development
May 31, 2017
Check Against Delivery
Good morning, and thank you, Christyn [Cianfarani, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries – CADSI], for that warm welcome.
Congratulations to you and your team for putting together an incredible event.
It is a pleasure to be here at CANSEC 2017.
I’d also like to congratulate CADSI for the inspiring and educational Innovation Wall that we just unveiled.
It’s exciting for me to be here and to see first-hand some of the innovative work the defence sector is doing in Canada.
This sector plays a key role in our country’s economy.
It contributes more than $9 billion in economic activity every year, and it provides more than 63,000 high-skilled and well-paying jobs in both large and small firms across Canada.
Ladies and gentlemen, to stay competitive, Canada must remain committed to innovation.
That means continuously finding new ways of doing things better.
As the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, I appreciate this industry’s long history of finding new and better ways to accomplish this mission.
And I recognize that government has played, and must continue to play, a key role in creating the conditions for success.
We know one way we can stimulate growth in the defence sector is through the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, or ITB for short.
When this policy is applied, it means new investments in Canada.
These investments create and sustain jobs, support innovation and lead to the start-up and scale-up of new businesses.
And it ensures that prospective suppliers are scored on their ITB commitments in addition to cost and technical requirements.
This translates to enormous benefits for Canadians.
The numbers speak for themselves: right now, total ITB obligations are worth more than $41 billion.
And I’m delighted to report that all participating companies are meeting their obligations.
To date, more than 90 percent of ITB commitments are either in progress or are complete.
But that’s only part of the story.
Over the past 30 years, the ITB policy has generated investments of $30 billion in Canada’s economy.
These investments have led to good jobs for Canadians across the country.
Between 2011 and 2015, nearly 40,000 jobs were created or secured annually because of this policy.
Over the same time period, contractors partnered with hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses.
These partnerships pumped $1.75 billion worth of work into the Canadian economy and $82 million into our universities, colleges and public research labs.
In April, I was pleased to announce an investment made by Lockheed Martin under the ITB policy.
Their $10-million investment in Mannarino Systems and Software will go a long way to advancing that company’s mission-critical equipment.
Well today, I have even more good news.
I’m pleased to announce that Lockheed Martin has invested in four more leading-edge Canadian small businesses.
These deals are part of Lockheed Martin’s ITB obligation for the in-service support of the C-130J Super Hercules.
The first company is a start-up named Contextere based right here in Ottawa and in its second year of operation.
The company will develop new wearable and mobile technology for industrial workers that uses machine learning to improve workforce safety.
The second company, also here in Ottawa, is Gastops.
The company is working on a new version of its ChipCHECK product that will provide quick and accurate analysis of lubricating fluids before mission critical equipment begins to fail.
Metamaterial Technologies, based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is the third recipient.
This investment will support the design and development of new multi-functional materials, called metamaterials, that will help improve solar panel technology.
Finally, Solace Power, located in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, is a company that specializes in wireless power transfer technology.
This investment will support Solace’s efforts to evolve its current technology and expand the company’s capability into new markets.
These four investments, combined with the Mannarino investment, mean that close to $21 million is being invested in Canada’s economy thanks to our ITB Policy.
These investments are creating and sustaining jobs in Canada’s defence sector and helping innovative firms to scale up and access new export markets.
ITBs are an example of how government can use its enormous purchasing power to support jobs and innovation.
The investments made under this policy help employ Canadian welders, engineers, programmers and thousands of other workers from coast to coast to coast.
These investments support research and the development of new technologies, and they provide opportunities for businesses to participate in global supply chains.
That’s how defence procurement drives innovation.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Government is committed to ensuring that the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment they need to fulfill their missions at home and abroad.
My colleague, Minister Sajjan, who spoke this morning, will soon present the Government’s new defence policy.
It will outline the major investments we will make to re-capitalize Canada’s Armed Forces in the coming years.
And the Government is committed to applying the ITB policy to those investments to spur innovation and create high-quality jobs here in Canada.
That’s how defence procurement drives innovation that leads to better jobs and more opportunities for all Canadians.
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