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  • Betting on Bitumen: Alberta's energy policies from Lougheed to Klein June 8, 2017
    The role of government in Alberta, both involvement and funding, has been critical in ensuring that more than narrow corporate interests were served in the development of the province’s bitumen resources.  A new report contrasts the approaches taken by two former premiers during the industry’s early development and rapid expansion periods.  The Lougheed government invested […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Canada-China FTA will leave workers worse off June 2, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is currently consulting Canadians on a possible Canada-China free trade agreement. In CCPA’s submission to this process, CCPA senior researcher Scott Sinclair argues that an FTA based on Canada’s standard template would almost certainly reinforce rather than improve upon Canada’s imbalanced and deleterious trade with China. It can also be expected to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Faulty assumptions about pipelines and tidewater access May 30, 2017
    The federal and Alberta governments and the oil industry argue that pipelines to tidewater will unlock new markets where Canadian oil can command a better price than in the US, where the majority of Canadian oil is currently exported. Both governments have approved Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project, but a new report finds that […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Weathering the storm: is this the end of CRA’s political activities audits? May 5, 2017
    Yesterday, following a panel’s recommendation to allow charities more freedom to speak out, the federal government decided to suspend the Canada Revenue Agency’s controversial political activities audit program. Indeed this is good news for Canadian charities. Everyone at the CCPA is proud of the role our organization has played in challenging these audits and in […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Unauthorized dams built in BC's northeast for energy companies' fracking May 3, 2017
    A subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned Petronas, the company behind a massive Liquefied Natural Gas plant proposal near Prince Rupert, has built at least 16 large unauthorized dams in northeast BC to trap water used for fracking operations, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has learned. Read the report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Federal R&D Panel Report

In a week when business lobby groups are appearing before the House of Commons Committee on Finance and calling for more tax breaks, the federal R&D Panel appointed a year ago released a very good report saying Canada’s very generous system of R&D tax incentives haven’t been effective and what we need instead are more direct grants to spur innovation.

Not only that, but it also calls for much greater use of procurement by all levels of government to foster innovation by Canadian companies and greater use of government lending through the business development bank to help finance innovation. 

This approach towards innovation involves a more active and strategic role for government and is similar to what contributers to this blog and the Alternative Federal Budget have proposed over the years.   

The recommendations on procurement are a strong acknowledgement of the benefit of policies such as Ontario’s domestic content provisions for renewable energy and municipal procurement measures, which will be undermined by trade deals such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement now being negotiated with Europe.

Interesting to see that one of the researchers involved in the expert panel was Dan Ciuriak, former deputy chief economist at the department of foreign affairs, who wrote the excellent paper What if Everything We Know About Economic Policy is Wrong? — also well-worth reading.

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