Hon. Robert Thibault (Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, it is quite pertinent that the hon. member points out the distribution of the funds and the number of programs that were given in parts of the country.
I recognize, as he does, that the Atlantic participation has been underrepresented. It has been a little bit less than its population base would indicate. I let the member know that it is not lost on this side of the House.
That is why the Prime Minister announced last year the Atlantic investment partnership. Part of that is a $300 million program for innovation to help with some capacity building in Atlantic Canada so that our research institutes and our private sector are able to benefit or participate equally in the country or within programs like CFI.
The comments the hon. member made about Canada's role in the past and in the future on research and development are quite pertinent. If we want to fully participate in the new economy, I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to do our very best to make sure that our institutions and our country in general is taking full advantage of the opportunities out there, and research and development is how we will get there.
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Budget Implementation Act, 1997