Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

July 8, 2014

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Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests. Thank you for the warm welcome.

C'est un grand plaisir d'être ici parmi vous aujourd'hui.

I'm pleased to be here to celebrate the incredible achievements of the Sunnybrook Research Institute and the Centre for Research in Image Guided Therapy. Sunnybrook is home to a number of breakthroughs that have transformed health care across the country and internationally.

I'm proud that I can be here with Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Dr. Michael Julius, your Vice-President of Research, to support the continued innovation that comes from this world-renowned institution. And I'm proud to see the new innovations coming from Sunnybrook's 18 industry partners along with the vital role of Sunnybrook's academic partner, Western University.

Both Dr. McLellan and Dr. Julius know that hard work and innovation is a major component of success and so does the Government of Canada. In fact, innovation is the key to success not just for the health care sector, but for all sectors.

New ideas, new products, and new approaches to how we do things are critical to ensuring our nation's prosperity.

And I can tell you that the Government of Canada is setting the right macro-economic conditions for our nation's businesses to prosper.

We continue to focus on maintaining and creating jobs. We remain focused on keeping taxes low and have lowered corporate tax rates. Most recently, in the Focus on Tax report, KPMG concluded that Canada's taxes are the most business-friendly in the world.

We've eliminated unnecessary regulatory burdens and we continue to work in this area.

We've made Canada the first completely tariff-free zone for manufacturers in the G-20. 

We have a strong job growth record compared to other countries, with employment in Canada increasing by more than 1.1 million since 2006.

We have ensured fair and transparent government procurement and provided important and timely job training.

We have also opened the door to new markets with millions of new customers. In less than seven years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries and is negotiating with 30 more.

In fact, last year Canada leapt from sixth place to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations in the world for business.  

We're also on track to balance the budget this year and Canada is now in a position where the landscape for business growth in Canada has never been as fertile.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that jobs, economic growth and prosperity are the priorities of our government.  This is why FedDev Ontario is focused on building a strong foundation of partnerships and relationships to secure southern Ontario's and Canada's long-term prosperity.

We have invested nearly $1.2 billion, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,300 organizations and more than $1.5 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources to support businesses, manufacturers, organizations and communities here in southern Ontario. This includes a number of innovative projects designed to benefit the health care sector throughout the region.

And it is these innovative projects that lead to the development of new technologies that contribute to making us healthier, to saving lives and improving our quality of life, both economically and socially.

The work being done here is truly revolutionary. We are seeing the use of focused ultrasound techniques to alleviate pain in cancer patients and the development of catheter technology that allow medical professionals to look at real-time, 3D images of a patient's heart and blood vessels.

And we are witnessing the future of health care when we see innovations that allow the treatment of patients without even breaking skin. This means much shorter recovery times and less risk of hospital borne infections. Reduced recovery times and fewer infections also lead to saving money in our health care system.

While I could stand here all day speaking to you about these great advancements, I'm excited to tour your facilities and see, first hand, demonstrations of the real-world technologies that have been developed with FedDev Ontario's $6.9-million investment. I know some of the private sector partners, such as Harmonic Medical, Colibri Technologies and Innovere Medical are here today and I look forward to seeing their work in action.

This collaboration will also provide economic opportunities for southern Ontario and create jobs for Canadians while providing the best technology and the best health care for patients.

At FedDev Ontario, we continue to support strong collaborations. In fact, we are currently accepting and reviewing applications for the new Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives which are aimed at strengthening the economy, positioning the region to compete globally by helping create and grow businesses, and cultivating partnerships and building strong communities.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to go through all the initiatives, but I do want to mention one that might be relevant for some of you here today. It's called the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative.

This initiative supports business-led partnerships with a focus on developing globally-competitive products and services, or innovation platforms. These are structures or services that partners can use to test, refine or develop applications to help bring products from lab to market. All of this can help business find a solution to problems they are facing or to help commercialize a product.

FedDev Ontario, through programming like this, continues to foster and encourage the commercialization of ideas.

For additional information, I encourage each of you to visit FedDev Ontario's website.

I know you're anxious to hear from Dr. Michael Julius, so I will close by saying this.

A healthy and economically prosperous Canada is not created by a single company or organization. It is through people, partnerships and projects such as this one that we will improve innovation and entrepreneurship and discover even more opportunities for growth.

I look forward to speaking to researchers and touring this facility to see your hard work in action.

Congratulations again to all of you.

Thank you.

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