The Honourable Ed Holder, PC, MP
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
May 16, 2014
Check Against Delivery
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you, Dr. Goldstein, for that generous introduction.
My thanks also to McGill University for graciously hosting us here in the Macdonald Engineering Building for today's announcement.
I'd also like to extend a special welcome to McGill researchers Dr. Pascal Hubert, Dr. Mathieu Brochu and Dr. Murray Humphries as well as to Janet Walden from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. I'm so glad you all were able to join us.
For nearly 200 years, this storied institution has been training and nurturing some of Canada's greatest minds—famous and influential Canadians like medical pioneer Sir William Osler, Nobel Prize winning physicist Dr. Willard Boyle, astronaut Julie Payette and, yes, even the captain of the Starship Enterprise, Captain Kirk. They spent their formative years right here on this campus.
McGill University, like many of our Canadian universities, plays a key role in preparing the next generation of leaders. Canada today benefits from one of the most educated populations in the world.
Canada is ranked first in the G7 for its support for research and development undertaken by our colleges, universities and other research institutes.
Our government is committed to supporting science, technology and innovation. Science can power commerce, create jobs and improve the quality of life of all Canadians.
But in a world driven by competition, a deep talent pool of highly qualified men and women helps distinguish Canada from its peers. We must not rest on our laurels. We must continue to ensure that our men and women are acquiring knowledge and new skills and that they are constantly evolving to adapt to the global economy.
I am therefore pleased to announce today, on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, that our government is making a significant investment to ensure Canadian graduate students and post-doctoral fellows receive the hands-on training needed to better transition into careers in innovative industries.
For instance, right here at the McGill Institute for Aerospace Engineering, Dr. Stephen Yue's team will work with the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (or CRIAQ) to develop a training program to make engineering students career-ready for the aerospace industry.
Through a four-month work term and a series of industry-led workshops and seminars, the program will give students a better understanding of aerospace product development, design and manufacturing systems integration, and quality and cost control while enabling them to develop personal, professional and interpersonal skills.
Preparing highly qualified men and women is possible through NSERC's Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program—or CREATE for short.
Since its launch in 2008, CREATE has supported the research and training efforts of 90 teams across the country. Today's new funding will support an additional nine teams.
Ladies and gentlemen, ensuring strong partnerships between universities and businesses is a key component of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's commitment to Canadian science and technology.
As Economic Action Plan 2014 demonstrates, our government's investments are positioning Canadians to seize the moment:
- We announced the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a legacy investment, to ensure Canada's post-secondary institutions remain world leading over the next decade.
- We proposed the largest increase to the granting councils in a decade to ensure our researchers continue their groundbreaking research.
- And we committed to creating a social innovation fund that will partner community organizations with colleges to address our most pressing social challenges.
What's more, we are working on a renewed science, technology and innovation strategy, a long-term plan to position Canada as a globally recognized leader in research and business innovation.
In closing, I would like to congratulate McGill University and all of today's CREATE recipients. On behalf of Prime Minister Harper, I wish you the best and look forward to hearing about your progress in the months and years to come.