Opinion

Cannan: Canada is a leader in science and technology innovation

Science and Technology Week in Canada will take place from Oct. 12 to 21, and provides us with a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of science and technology and celebrate Canada’s role as a leader in innovation.

As posted at science.gc.ca, a recent assessment of the state of science and technology in Canada by an 18-member national and intentional expert panel has found Canadian science and technology is healthy and growing in both output and impact.

Furthermore, over the past five years, real improvements have occurred in the magnitude and quality of Canadian science and technology.

According to panel chair Dr. Eliot Phillipson, “There is much for Canadians to be proud of as Canada’s international reputation is strong, science and technology research is robust across the country, and globally we are considered to have world-leading research infrastructure and programs.”

The panel found the following key findings:

• The six research fields in which Canada excels are: clinical medicine, historical studies, information and communication technologies (ICT), physics and astronomy, psychology and cognitive sciences, and visual and performing arts.

• Canadian science and technology is healthy and growing in both output and impact. With less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s population, Canada produces 4.1 per cent of the world’s research papers and nearly five per cent of the world’s most frequently cited papers.

• In a survey of over 5,000 leading international scientists, Canada’s scientific research enterprise was ranked fourth highest in the world, after the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

• Canada is part of a network of international science and technology collaboration that includes the most scientifically advanced countries in the world. Canada is also attracting high-quality researchers from abroad, such that over the past decade there has been a net migration of researchers into the country.

• Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta are the powerhouses of Canadian science and technology, together accounting for 97 per cent of total Canadian output in terms of research papers. These provinces also have the best performance in patent-related measures and the highest per capita numbers of doctoral students, accounting for more than 90 per cent of doctoral graduates in Canada in 2009.

• Several fields of specialization were identified in other provinces, such as: agriculture, fisheries, and forestry in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba; historical studies in New Brunswick; biology in Saskatchewan; as well as earth and environmental sciences in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Our government has been criticized for failing to support science. Yet, it is clear our commitment to fund science and technology at record levels ($8 billion in new dollars since 2006), is having a real and positive impact.

As taxpayers who support science and technology funding, I hope you are proud of Canada’s achievements.

Supporting local arts and culture

The Kelowna Art Gallery contacted my office recently to let me know about its upcoming Appetizer for Art fundraiser and auction.  The event will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Not only will you be able to purchase art but you’ll get to enjoy some of the region’s finest culinary and spirits.  For more information please go to www.kelownaartgallery.com.

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The arts and culture sectors in Kelowna-Lake Country enjoy local, provincial and federal support, which provides our community, especially school-aged children, with access to a number of music, art, dance and heritage programs, creates jobs and supports the local economy.

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Finally, as Thanksgiving fell on Oct. 8 this year, I’ll be back working in the riding until Oct.14.

Don’t hesitate to contact my office at ron@cannan.ca or by calling 250-470-5075 if you want to meet.

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, that even in these challenging times, you can find much to be thankful for.

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