MRO Magazine

First of 35 meetings held to determine how to increase the number of skilled people available for industry

Waterloo, ON -- May 30, 2002 -- Andrew Telegdi, Ontario's member of parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, and Industry...


Industry

May 30, 2002
By MRO Magazine

Waterloo, ON — May 30, 2002 — Andrew Telegdi, Ontario’s member of parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, and Industry Canada’s deputy minister, V. Peter Harder, met with Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and area representatives on May 24, 2002, at the University of Waterloo to discuss recommendations on an action plan to achieve Canada’s Innovation Strategy.

This regional Innovation Summit, one of the first of 35 such summits to be held across Canada, was organized in partnership with the University of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo, Conestoga College and Communitech.

Over 150 attendees representing area businesses, academic institutions, and governments engaged in discussions around the federal strategy. Discussions focused on four key themes: strengthening community capacity, knowledge creation and commercialization, innovation policy and regulatory climate, and skills and learning.

Canada’s Innovation Strategy, launched earlier this year by Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources Development, included a plan for comprehensive and focused discussions that would help refine and implement the strategy.

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“Canada’s Innovation Strategy requires a national effort,” said Andrew Telegdi. “If we are going to improve our competitive position, we need all regions and all sectors of our economy to identify actions that remove barriers to innovation and push Canada toward a common goal of being one of the most innovative countries in the world.”

“I believe this initiative shows the government’s commitment to making meaningful change,” noted Linda Hasenfratz, president of Linamar Corporation. “Innovation is really the key to the success and prosperity of an individual company, and an entire country, alike. I participated today in the skills dialogue and we came up with many ideas on how we can increase the number of skilled people available for industry — certainly one of the bigger challenges we’ve faced at Linamar for several years.”

“The importance of broadband access at this point in our history is akin to the first introduction of the printing press in Europe,” said University of Waterloo president David Johnston.

“We spoke at length today about quality of life. Broadband can contribute to this quality as the enabler for tele-health, tele-medicine, e-government, and e-business.”

The meetings will culminate with a national summit in November, 2002.

An interactive Web site (http://innovationstrategy.gc.ca) has been developed where Canadians can provide their views directly. The site, which features stories about innovative Canadians, is to be continuously updated with information from the meetings.

Copies of Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity and Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians, as well as the “Do it Yourself” Kit, can be obtained at http://innovationstrategy.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-622-6232.