Statements at the Open Senate Liberal Caucus discussion on research and development

February 4, 2015—Research & Development

Our Senate Liberal Caucus aims to foster an open, non-partisan debate on the crucial issues of the day. Our discussion is not only open to all parliamentarians, but also to all Canadians, who are welcome to attend in person or follow along and contribute via social media.

A 2014 study by the World Economic Forum noted a slip in Canada’s global competitiveness, citing underinvestment in innovation and technology as one of the underlying reasons. Perhaps cognizant of Canada’s lagging innovation, the government announced the creation of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. In short this program will prioritize research funding for programs that fall in line with government priorities and would create long-term economic advantages for Canada. Some have come out in support of this approach while others have warned that important research without any immediate perceived benefit will fall by the wayside.

To address these concerns we invited individuals from the academic community and the manufacturing industry to discuss the merits and drawbacks of this approach to R & D. Our discussion centered on this new strategy, as well as Canada’s traditional strengths in R & D and areas which need attention and improvement.

Witnesses included:

  • Suzanne Corbeil (Executive Director at the U15)
  • Martin Lavoie (Director of Manufacturing Policy at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters)
  • Scott Findlay (Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa)
  • Sylvain Schetagne (Associate Executive Director, Canadian Association of University Teachers)



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