CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2012) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, today met with representatives from small and medium-sized businesses in a round table discussion to hear their views on the economy and the policies that the Harper Government should adopt to continue to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

"Our government's top priority remains the economy. Today, as the Prime Minister promotes trade in Davos, my colleagues and I are consulting with Canadians across the country on Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Minister Goodyear. "These consultations will help to decide how to invest Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars to create jobs and growth while keeping taxes low and returning to a balanced budget."

The Minister pointed out to the business leaders that while the government's programs to encourage business research and development (R&D) are among the most generous offered among industrialized nations, Canada continues to lag behind other countries in private sector investment in R&D.

The Harper Government plans to address this issue with the advice of an independent R&D expert panel struck in October 2010 with a mandate to conduct a comprehensive review of all federal support for business-related R&D and to recommend ways this support could be improved. Minister Goodyear informed the business group that the advice the panel provided generated many useful discussions and produced thoughtful responses from both the business and research communities.

Minister Goodyear will respond to the panel's recommendations, which were tabled in October 2011, in detail at a later time. "Stay tuned," he told the gathering.

Contact Information:

Jay Jacobson
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State for Science and Technology

Media Relations
Industry Canada