Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my friend, the member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, has a very impressive science background. Therefore, I can understand why he addressed his speech to that point. I will address my question to the same point.

When I saw $67 million in the budget for the National Research Council, I was pleased. However, when I saw it was specifically required under the terms of the budget to be “business-led and industry-relevant”, I asked myself what Albert Einstein would have done with that. The greatest inventions of the modern era have been made by brilliant minds operating unfettered. In other words, it was basic research with an element of serendipity, not trying to get people to make a better widget and confine the human brain to the most base commercial elements.

Would my hon. colleague agree that is where the best inventions have been found?

Ted Hsu: Mr. Speaker, I do agree. There is a good example of that in Canada, which is canola. The research on canola was not done with a one-year research grant. It was planned and it was something that took many years and quite a bit of an investment. Look at what we have now. It is a major part of Canada’s agricultural sector. It was developed not with a focus on immediate results, but a long-term vision and careful research to develop a product that could have commercial value.