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Opinion

We can no longer overlook innovation’s human dimension

By Stephen J. Toope      

To meet the challenges ahead, we’ll need help from a broad range of non-technological innovators, including designers, economists, business managers, political scientists, humanities researchers, psychologists, legal experts and artists.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, pictured in this file photo on the Hill. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

It is reassuring to see the subject of innovation emerge once again in conversations across Canada. As evidenced by the recent announcement by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Science Minister Kirsty Duncan and Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger, our world is changing—economically, socially, politically—and our ability to adapt will depend on how well we innovate. Among the announced plans was a commitment to consult broadly with Canadians about the kind of innovation agenda we need in this country. This is encouraging, because right now we’re running the risk of thinking too narrowly about innovation in Canada—precisely when we should be thinking expansively. A rich, inclusive conversation is just what we need.

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Wage subsidies ‘critical,’ a ‘lifeline’ for businesses to survive pandemic, says Chamber of Commerce president

News|By Mike Lapointe
'This subsidy will make a real difference in your lives and help everyone affected bridge to better times,' said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, March 27.

Food supply, emergency vehicle repair: keeping Canada-U.S. trade open key to fight against COVID-19, say stakeholders

The 'biggest point of concern right now' is 'making sure that we keep those shipments of fresh vegetables and other commodities rolling in by truck across the border, truck or train,' says John Manley.

Refusing to commit to firm timeline, Trudeau says it’s ‘realistic’ measures will last until July

News|By Beatrice Paez, Palak Mangat 3:20 PM ET
The government is working to recall Parliament to consider passing what the prime minister has cast as the 'biggest economic measures' in Canada’s history.

Introduction of electronic, remote voting not called for yet, but should be re-examined by House committee, say some MPs

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie says she doesn’t think such a reconsideration is warranted yet, but could be if COVID-19 keeps Parliament away into the fall.

Lobbyists clamour to get voices heard on COVID-19

The number of lobbying files connected to COVID-19 has exploded in the last week, with 90 registrations for 55 organizations outlining plans to push federal officials on issues ranging from policy to funding.

Feds to spend $2-billion to scale up production of medical supplies, equipment, as it braces for anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases

'We need a sustainable and stable supply of these products, and that means making them at home, and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks,' says Prime Minister Trudeau.

Canadian authorities in talks about COVID-19 tracking apps

In Canada, separate projects are underway that would combine phone location data with positive COVID-19 diagnoses to notify individuals about potential exposure in what their creators say are privacy-friendly ways.

Budget 2020, election promises in question amid COVID-19 global pandemic crisis, say McKay, Delacourt

‘It is going to blow a hole in the government’s legislative agenda,’ says Liberal MP John McKay.

Speedy delivery of financial benefits to Canadians key to Trudeau’s handling of COVID-19, says a leading pollster

News|By Abbas Rana
The COVID-19 pandemic is the 'defining moment of Justin Trudeau's prime ministership' and this is a crisis where the government has a central role to play in its management.
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