Thank you all for your patience. I know you've been sitting here for a little while, and I do very much appreciate you being here.
Ladies and gentlemen, when we launched Digital Canada 150, part of the narrative was to remind Canadians that the digital part of Canada's economy has to be at the very core of our recovery.
As a former Minister of Canadian Heritage, I do like to remind us as a government that we are in the business of nation building and we are in the business of keeping this country united. The principal responsibility of all governments is to ensure that this country stays more united than the way it was when we formed office.
So as we move forward, at the time of Canada's Confederation, what was the big challenge of Canada? It was to bind us together with infrastructure, building a railway. And then what came next? Well, developing the St. Lawrence Seaway, developing and taking advantage of the Fraser River in British Columbia and building physical infrastructure, building our airports, building the Trans-Canada Highway—making sure that we're actually physically connected one to another across the second largest land mass in the world of Canada, second largest country in the world in size, 37th largest in population.
So then of course, you ask the question, what's next? Well, what's next is the digital world. So Digital Canada 150. And within Digital Canada 150 are a whole number of initiatives by our government to take advantage of the digital economy, but it all feeds into the strong economic narrative. Because today Canada is widely viewed and recognized around the world as one of the strongest economies in the world.
In fact, all of the world's credit rating agencies have affirmed Canada's triple A credit rating. And for the past decade, we have led the G7 in economic growth. In fact, we have the lowest business operating costs in all of the G7, and Canada is indeed a great place to do business.
It was just announced last week that, from 2006 through until last year, foreign direct investment into Canada has gone up 57 percent. And we are continuing to move forward. We have the best job numbers in the G7 since the depth of the recession, and we've lowered taxes. We've lowered taxes now, the corporate tax from 22 points down to 15 points, which provides Canada with, on average, when you add the federal and provincial corporate tax rates across the country, on average, a 13-point lower corporate tax rate than what's offered in the United States.
And that's why Microsoft is looking and building a new campus in Vancouver. It's why Google is expanding its campus here and moving forward with its expansion in Canada. It's why Burger King is looking to leave Florida and come up to Canada and establish a footprint here. Lower taxes are creating jobs here in Canada.
And we've been working to create that competitive work environment and business environment so that entrepreneurs can succeed.
But today is about the digital economy and our contribution on the digital side to that. These portable devices impact every aspect of our lives: social, business, academic, commercial. And we want to make sure that smartphones, tablets, smart watches, wearable glucose monitors and medical devices—for example—all have a good home in Canada.
Manufacturers of these small-size high-tech devices are becoming more and more burdened by the need to etch, engrave or use unsightly stickers to label their technology. And of course, in Canada, we have the unique dynamic of being a country of two official languages across the country. And so linguistic divides are often challenging as well.
And in some cases, devices that are marketed in other areas of the world cannot even consider entering the Canadian market because of Canada's labelling regulations that require the label to be visible on the actual device. This has resulted in less choice for Canadian consumers and less choice and opportunity for entrepreneurs here at home to develop these kinds of devices and their adjacent technologies.
So today, I'm pleased to announce that our government is bringing in new rules to open the Canadian market to wearable technology. We're doing this by enacting new regulations that will allow tech companies to use electronic labelling on their devices that use wireless spectrum.
This means that instead of unsightly stickers or etching to give consumers important and mandatory information, this information will now be available electronically through the device's software. Electronic labelling, or e-labelling, can provide more information to consumers than is conveyed today. Manufacturers can now add details about device warranties or even update labels remotely to address inaccuracies such as typographical errors or product safety warnings going forward.
And with these changes, Canada is the sixth country in the world now to bring e-labelling, opening Canada's markets to the latest wireless devices such as Google Glass, Apple Watch, the Moto 360 and the next generation of these devices that we all know are coming down the road. Wearable computing takes the "always on" ubiquitous connectivity and productivity of devices such as smartphones and lifts it, of course, to a whole new level.
And Canada is home to some incredible firms that are leaders in the new technology frontier. We have, for example, Recon Instruments in my hometown of Vancouver, which is making miniature heads up data displays for skiers and cyclists that can be projected onto Google Glass and sunglasses.
There's Montréal's Carré Technologies, makers of Hexoskin—a smart garment that can tell you the wearer's heart rate, breathing volume, G-force stress and other information. Hexoskin is so good the Canadian Space Agency helped fund it and plans to send it up to the International Space Station in 2016.
And closer to home right here in Kitchener–Waterloo, there's Thalmic Labs, who are behind Myo, an incredible little device that looks like a bracelet but captures every shake and twist of a wearer's arm. So this is why e-labelling is important for these and other wearable computing manufacturers because for most of them, the design of a small form factor is indeed paramount.
Imagine the clean lines of Google's new wearable computing devices like Google Glass spoiled by a large sticker down the arms. Or the upcoming Apple Watch having its sleek case marked up or engraved by information that most consumers will never refer to and could easily access through software.
So with this new approach, the cost of printing labels and sticking them to devices is gone. The cost of etching and ruining the aesthetic of these devices is gone, which will allow for more ingenuity and creativity in the development of these devices so they can adapt to the changing marketplace and consumers' expectations of how these devices will intertwine with their daily lives.
So consumers will have access to this information in any event, but it'll be done in a smart way—done through the ingenuity of the free market. So efforts like this are a part of Digital Canada 150, our government's plan to take advantage of the digital world going forward.
I was very pleased to be here to announce Digital Canada 150 back in April at OpenText's headquarters. And moving forward, we will continue to engage and continue to make announcements that will take advantage of smart technology, smart regulation and focused investment by the government so we can leverage the brilliant talent that is coming out of places like the University of Waterloo and elsewhere.
As the digital wave continues to grow and build and sweep around the world, Digital Canada 150 will help us with the path moving forward.
Thank you all very much for your time.