On innovation and politics

There is a very interesting article in the Globe & Mail today about Ontario’s focus on research & development. Actually, the story is about John Charest trying to play catch up to Ontario but I’ll zoom in on a few interesting tidbits.

Firstly, the headline of the story itself:

A whiff of election air stirs Charest to action on innovation

Question: Would that statement ever be used in the New Brunswick context? Tee hee hee.

More like:

A whiff of election air stirs Charest to action on health care, or senior care, or potholes, or whatever

Then there’s this tasty morsel:

Mr. McGuinty is devoting $1.7-billion over five years to fund research and, just as important, its commercialization.

You remember the Prosperity Plan? The one that was going to take us into the top three for R&D spending per capita in Canada?

Lord allocated $25 million for his Innovation Foundation. I am not sure how many years this is spread over but let’s say five just for fun.

Ontario $1.7 billion
New Brunswick $25 million

Ah, but you say, that’s not fair New Brunswick is smaller than Ontario.


Ontario $170 per person
NB $33 per person

New Brunswick would have to spend over five times as much to reach the level of new money committed by Ontario. But that still wouldn’t get us in to the top three provinces for R&D spending.

No wonder the Prosperity Plan disappeared.

The article concludes:

Innovation and its funding is the sine qua non of a modern, vibrant economy.

Under the Tories:

Innovation and its funding is a concepta non grata.

Ok, I made that term up but I don’t claim to have a great knowledge of Latin.