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Championing innovation as important as unleashing science

By Nobina Robinson      

Let’s be honest. Barely a peep was heard about innovation from any of the three major parties over the course of the lengthy federal election campaign. And now, stimulating Canadian innovation will have to find a place on the long “to do” list of the new Liberal government. Meanwhile, Canada’s total spending on research and development is expected to decline for a third consecutive year, down 0.7 per cent from 2014. The new government will be fully aware of our sluggish international comparative rankings in innovation and competitiveness. True, the Liberal platform did commit to unmuzzle federal scientists, create a chief science officer and launch an “innovation agenda.” Now, with the naming of two ministers with “science” in their mandates, we await the next bold moves required to translate these platform promises into action.  Canada now has a minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development signalling a possible revitalization of Industry Canada, and a minister of Science. Equally significant, is the elevation of the word “innovation” in the mandate of a Cabinet committee.

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Today’s Throne Speech steeped in British parliamentary tradition dating back to at least the 16th century

Feature|By Aidan Chamandy
Queen Elizabeth, on her first royal visit to Canada in 1957, delivered John Diefenbaker's first Throne Speech. In 1977, she delivered Pierre Trudeau's Throne Speech as well in Canada.

Rookie PSPC minister a ‘calculated risk’ as a cabinet pick, say observers

News|By Palak Mangat
Canada's new procurement minister Anita Anand 'ticks a lot of the boxes,' says one political observer of the first Hindu to be appointed into cabinet on a federal level.

Liberals’ Anthony Rota elected Speaker of the House

MPs used a ranked-ballot voting system to elect the new House Speaker.

‘Thou shalt be there,’ government whip tells MPs as high-stakes minority Parliament kicks off Thursday

News|By Palak Mangat
In a minority Parliament, co-operation between parties is now an 'imperative, as opposed to something that we would try to do,' says Chief Government Whip Mark Holland.

‘A servant of the House’: MPs to elect Commons Speaker in early-morning ceremony

News|By Beatrice Paez
Incumbent House Speaker Geoff Regan says he expects MPs will be largely influenced by their peers' assessments of the candidates in casting their ballots for the new Speaker.

Political ties, not diplomatic bona fides needed for next Canadian envoy in D.C., says former ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
‘From a U.S. perspective, the relationship between the ambassador and the prime minister has to be extremely close,’ says Michael Kergin.

‘Let’s get on with the contest now’: chorus of prominent Conservatives calling for Scheer’s ouster continues to grow

News|By Mike Lapointe
But a Conservative source is decrying public criticism of Andrew Scheer's leadership, saying it will only create the kind of schisms that will set the party back and that former leader Stephen Harper worked to avoid.

Parliament security labour standoff nearing end of the road

Long-awaited collective agreements are finally being settled with the unions representing Parliament’s security officers, just in time for a new round of talks.

French envoy defends Macron’s NATO comments as ‘brave’

French ambassador Kareen Rispal says the 29-member alliance is in the midst of a political crisis and her president was recognizing that fact.
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