Thank you, Minister James Moore, for that kind introduction, and for the great work you are doing not just as Minister of Canadian Heritage, but also as the Minister for British Columbia. Greetings also to Premier Clark – it’s nice to see you again, and to see you decked out in those BC Lions colours. I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday, but unlike you, I have to take a little more of a neutral stance on this issue.
Greetings to Minister Mary McNeil, to Science World Chair Andrew Harries and to Science World President Bryan Tisdall. Greetings as well to some colleagues from my government who are with us today – please welcome the Member of Parliament for Richmond and Minister of State for Seniors, Alice Wong, and please also welcome the Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, Wai Young. They, and the rest of our Conservative team, are doing a great job representing the people of this city and this province.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s great to be back in Vancouver. I know everybody’s pretty excited about the Grey Cup. It’s going to be a great weekend, and it’s going to remind visitors and viewers on television once again, from coast to coast to coast, that Canada’s Western gateway – its Olympic host city – is one of the greatest cities in the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, this truly is a great city, and this place we’re standing in today is one of the many reasons people love it. Science World isn’t just a place to learn, hands-on, about science and technology. It’s a place that gets you thinking, and makes you want to learn more.
There are few things more important and few things more deserving of our support. That’s why I’m very glad to be here to help celebrate this milestone in Science World’s history – the biggest renovation since its opening in 1989. The scaffolding is down, the upgrades are up, and I’m happy to announce that the verdict is in: Science World is bigger and better than ever, and it’s ready to inspire the next generation of leaders in science and technology.
You know, ladies and gentlemen, as a parent, I see the value of a place like this. We want our kids to see the world of opportunities around them – we want them to learn, to enjoy, to excel. We sign them up for a sport they want to try, or we buy a book we think they’ll be interested in. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing them come alive, when they’ve hit on something that fascinates them, something they love. It’s that eureka moment when they discover some big new part of their life, maybe even their life’s work. Science World’s mission is to help make those moments happen, to be the catalyst for a lifetime of exploration, a mission our government strongly supports.
Through our investment in Science World we’re not only building a culture of knowledge and innovation. We’re also supporting a major cultural and tourist attraction, and we’re helping create jobs and growth, here in B.C., now and for years to come.
Ladies and gentlemen, as you know the economy remains our government’s number-one priority. Canada has come through the global recession better than most. In fact, countries around the world are looking at us as a model. For the fourth year in a row, the World Economic Forum says our banks are the soundest in the world. Forbes magazine ranks Canada as the best place on the planet for businesses to grow and create jobs, and the International Monetary Fund forecasts our economy will again be among the strongest in the G-7 this year and next. But as we have seen, the global economy remains very fragile, and Canada is not immune to the problems afflicting economies outside our country. We must not and we will not be complacent. Our government will continue taking action to protect Canadians, to create jobs, and to lay the foundation for long-term growth.
You know, there’s a great illustration of what we’re doing, right here at Science World. It’s called the Eureka Gallery. It has a hands-on way for kids to learn about leverage, by lifting a hippo on a fulcrum. It teaches a simple but powerful concept – when you make the right effort, you can do some serious heavy lifting.
Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our government has worked with provinces, municipalities, and private-sector partners to leverage investments for maximum benefit to our economy. Since July 2009, we’ve helped create almost 600,000 net new jobs – one of the strongest records among the advanced economies.
Science World is just one of more than twenty-eight and a half thousand projects we’ve supported across the country, to create jobs now and to provide the infrastructure we need for long-term prosperity. But there’s more to be done. We remain concerned about the number of Canadians still out of work, and we need to keep protecting and promoting our advantage in what is a struggling global economy.
That’s why we’re implementing the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. We’re keeping taxes low. We’re protecting jobs, investing in training, and encouraging businesses to hire new workers, and we’re expanding Canada’s trade in the world’s fastest-growing markets.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a great day in the history of a great institution. It’s the start of bigger and better things for Science World – more visitors to attract, more wonders to explore, more young minds to inspire – and it’s a sign of what we can do when we work together.
So let’s keep leveraging our efforts, let’s keep building our great country, and let’s keep working hard, to ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren. Thank you.