As Ottawa braces for the harshest federal budget in years, the Minister of State for Science and Technology is flitting across the country handing out cheques and talking up a looming overhaul of federal research and development programs.
Mr. Goodyear is the front man on the innovation file, and his domain is expected to consume a good chunk of the scant good news in the Conservative government’s first majority budget next week.
Speaking exactly one week before the budget, Mr. Flaherty acknowledged on Thursday that innovation and productivity will play a big part in Ottawa’s spending plans, now and for years to come.
“One of the major themes of the budget is going to be innovation, research and development and narrowing the productivity gap,” Mr. Flaherty said. “We’re looking at 2020 and beyond. We’re not just looking at next year and the year after that.”
The highlights of the plan are expected to include a move to more company-focused research in government labs, a shift to more direct funding of business research-and-development and fewer tax credits, and a rationalization of the dozens of government programs available to companies.