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By Rhonda Moore, Practice Lead, Science and Innovation
Sometimes what is said is just as important as what is not said. In the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 43rd government, the word science only appears twice and the term evidence-based only appears once. Yet science, technology and innovation underpin the first three foundations presented in the SFT.
The first pillar of the government’s strategy is to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and save lives. This includes support for more virus testing and research in the development of treatments for the SARS COVID-19 virus. These measures will require medical research, biochemistry, public health, nursing and regulatory sciences working together to scale up testing, to develop a vaccine or treatment, and to roll out a process to administer the treatment to all Canadians in a transparent, safe, and trustworthy manner.
The second pillar is to support people and businesses so that no Canadian comes out of the pandemic in worse economic shape than when they entered it. To develop a suite of programs and services to support Canadians through the pandemic requires financial, economic and mathematical evidence and theories to design programs that produce the kind of sustainable, long term economic and labour market growth the government desires for Canada and Canadians.
The third pillar is to “build back better to create a stronger, more resilient Canada” through a variety of mechanisms that range from addressing the opioid crisis, to improving access to physical and mental health services to investments in many types of infrastructure such as energy efficient retrofits, clean energy and affordable housing for Indigenous Peoples and northern communities.
Canadians deserve all of these things. Addressing the opioid crisis will not be possible without inputs from chemistry, psychology and medical sciences. Energy retrofits for buildings across Canada will require inputs from chemistry, physics and civil, chemical and materials engineers to inform how Canadians transition to clean energy as well as how we design buildings that adapt to Canada’s many climates as they change around us.
Science, technology and innovation are necessary ingredients to achieve the government’s vision for Canada’s future.
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