Targetting new R&D investments towards the environment and completing the stalled national broadband initiative are the S&T highlights of Heritage minister Sheila Copps’ campaign platform for prime minister. If elected Copps also commits to introduce incentives and tax measures to encourage so-called green technologies and making the tax treatment of wind and solar power comparable to other sources of energy.
Entitled Foundations: An Action Plan for Canadians, the 20-page document positions Copps solidly on the Liberal party’s left wing. Her policies employ innovation and S&T to provide greater opportunity for all and a sustainable environment. Bringing broadband connectivity to all Canadians, for example, would assist disadvantages groups.
“Broadband has the potential to enhance social inclusion, citizen participation and individual access to government programs and services,” states the document.
On the economic front, Copps calls for the tax system to be used to “level the playing field” between renewable and non-renewable energy resources.
In the area of environmentally sustainable development and environmental protection, Copps proposes several measures — a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development and the Arctic, a Marine Research Institute in Atlantic Canada and a new funding for renewable energy R&D through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
The Copps Action Plan calls for $6 billion in targeted new investments in the first year, “declining substantially after three years as major new investments have been completed”.