Thriving region is driving economic growth through innovation

July 27, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Ontarians will benefit from well‑paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it as a result of a series of investments made this week by the Government of Canada to commercialize new technologies, diversify regional economies and accelerate the growth of small businesses.

The Government’s Innovation Agenda aims to make Canada a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. These investments are prime examples of that vision in action.

The investments were announced over a two‑day tour of southern Ontario by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. During the tour, the Minister announced a $12‑million investment in Bioindustrial Innovation Canada to help develop a sustainable chemistry‑ and bio‑based manufacturing cluster in Sarnia–Lambton.

The investment is expected to create the equivalent of 478 full‑time jobs and result in 250 new industrial collaborations, particularly among small and medium‑sized businesses. It will also position the region to transition strategically from an economy based on petrochemicals and refined petroleum to an emerging economy based on clean technologies that produce lower carbon emissions and are more energy‑efficient.

In Hamilton, the Minister announced an investment of $11.96 million in McMaster University. The funding will support the establishment of a new biomedical and advanced manufacturing facility. The facility has the potential to revolutionize diagnostics and treatments in the health care sector. It will also foster a new biomedical manufacturing industry in Hamilton. The project is expected to create the equivalent of 74 full‑time jobs and result in 35 new industrial partnerships. While in Hamilton, the Minister also participated in a round‑table discussion with university and business leaders in the biomedical sector.

In London, the Minister, on behalf of Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, announced a $90‑million investment in the SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project. The SWIFT project will bring high‑speed Internet to more than 300 communities across southwestern Ontario.

With faster Internet connections, Canadians will get the skills and training they need to qualify for well‑paying jobs, and businesses will be able to participate fully in the global marketplace. This investment increases the potential for innovation and long‑term economic growth in the region.

The Minister concluded his tour by attending a round‑table discussion on the Innovation Agenda hosted by the Council of Canadian Innovators.

Quote

“What I saw first‑hand was a region that embodies the spirit of resourcefulness and resilience that characterizes an innovation‑based economy. I saw a region that has seized strategic opportunities to play to its strengths and diversify its economy by embracing emerging sectors. In doing so, southern Ontario is poised to make Canada a global leader in clean technologies and biomedical technologies.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • One of the ways that the Government of Canada supports a diverse economy is through its regional development agencies. As Canada’s most populous region—home to 12.3 million residents living in 288 communities—southern Ontario is a key contributor to the overall Canadian economy.
  • To help businesses, post‑secondary institutions, governments and other innovation stakeholders work together more strategically to accelerate economic growth, the Government of Canada is committing $800 million over four years, beginning next year, to support innovation networks and clusters, through the Innovation Agenda.

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.

Twitter: @MinisterISED

Contacts

Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777