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Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Supplementary Mandate Letter

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January 15, 2021

Office of the Prime Minister

Dear Mr. Champagne:

Thank you for continuing to serve Canadians as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Since my previous mandate letters, our country has been confronted by the most serious public health crisis we have ever faced. The global pandemic has had devastating impacts on lives and livelihoods and exposed fundamental gaps in our society. Challenges that existed before the pandemic remain and others have been exacerbated. In light of these realities, I am issuing this supplementary letter to outline further responsibilities and considerations that I expect you to undertake on behalf of Canadians. Nothing in this letter replaces any previous commitments or expectations. It is necessary for us to continue making progress on the commitments laid out in 2019, while ensuring our actions are centred on fighting the pandemic and building back better.

Even as we continue to distribute vaccines across Canada, bold action continues to be required to fight this pandemic, save lives, support people and businesses throughout the remainder of this crisis and build back better. We need to work together to protect and create jobs, and to rebuild our country in a way that will create long-term competitiveness through clean growth. As articulated in the Speech from the Throne 2020 and Fall Economic Statement 2020, our four main priorities for making tangible progress for Canadians continue to be: protecting public health; ensuring a strong economic recovery; promoting a cleaner environment; and standing up for fairness and equality.

Ongoing struggles around the world – and here at home – remind us of how important it is to keep working toward a brighter future. We are at a crossroads and must keep moving Canada forward to become stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient. It is part of your job to look out for Canadians, with particular attention to our most vulnerable.

We need to continue delivering on our commitments by working together in a positive, open and collaborative way with Parliamentarians, with partners and with all Canadians. Where legislation is required, I expect you to continue working with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to make progress for Canadians within this minority Parliament.

To be ready for what lies ahead, our Government must continue to be agile and use the best available science and evidence. Canadians are counting on us to ensure that today’s policies, programs and services are calibrated and targeted to match their needs. Therefore, I expect you to uphold our ongoing commitment to delivering real results and effective government for the people we are elected to serve. 

Many of our most important commitments continue to require a sustained partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, and Indigenous partners, communities and governments. Always remember that our mandate comes from citizens who are served by all orders of government, and that it is in everyone’s interest that we work together to find common ground and make life better for Canadians. The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is the Government-wide lead on all relations with the provinces and territories.

There remains no more important relationship to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. With respect and dignity, we remain committed to moving forward along the shared path of reconciliation. You, and indeed all ministers, must continue to play a role in helping to advance self-determination, close socio-economic gaps and eliminate systemic barriers facing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. As Minister, I expect you to work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples and communities to advance meaningful reconciliation.

The Government has significantly increased spending during the pandemic in order to achieve our most pressing priority: to help protect Canadians’ health and financial security. Going forward, we must preserve Canada’s fiscal advantage and continue to be guided by values of sustainability and prudence. Therefore, our actions must focus on creating new jobs and supporting the middle class to preserve the strength of our economy. 

While fighting the pandemic must be our top priority, climate change still threatens our health, economy, way of life and planet. Clean growth is the best way to create good jobs and power our long-term economic recovery. I expect you and all ministers to pursue complementary partnerships and initiatives that will support our work to exceed our emissions reduction target, seize new market opportunities to create good jobs and prepare our country to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

We remain committed to evidence-based decision-making that takes into consideration the impacts of policies on all Canadians and fully defends the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You will apply Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the decisions that you make and consider public policies through an intersectional lens in order to address systemic inequities including: systemic racism; unconscious bias; gender-based discrimination; barriers for persons with disabilities; discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities; and inequities faced by all vulnerable populations. Whenever possible, you will work to improve the quality and availability of disaggregated data to ensure that policy decisions benefit all communities.

It is clear that this pandemic has disproportionately affected different communities throughout our country. Therefore, we must ensure our recovery includes all Canadians, with an emphasis on supporting those most affected. To this end, I expect that you will seek the advice and hear the perspectives of a diverse group of Canadians, in both official languages. Moreover, you will continue to rely on and develop meaningful relationships with civil society and stakeholders, including businesses of all sizes, organized labour, the broader public sector and the not-for-profit and charitable sectors across Canada.

Now more than ever, Canadians are relying on journalists and journalism for accurate and timely news, especially in the face of a concerning spread of misinformation. I expect you to foster a professional and respectful relationship with journalists to ensure that Canadians have the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.

Our ability to implement our Government’s priorities depends on consideration of the professional, non-partisan advice of public servants. Government employees perform their duties in service to Canada, with a goal of improving our country and the lives of all Canadians. I expect you to maintain a collaborative working relationship with your Deputy Minister, whose role, like the role of the public servants under their direction, is to support you in the performance of your responsibilities.

Important ministerial responsibilities have been entrusted to you, notably delivering on the Government’s commitments that were set out in the 2019 mandate letters. I expect that you will keep me updated and proactively communicate with Canadians on the progress you are making toward our priorities. Always know that you can turn to me, and the Deputy Prime Minister, at any time for support.

In addition to the priorities set out in my mandate letters of 2019, as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, you will implement on a priority basis the following commitments, as set out in the Speech from the Throne 2020 and building off the investments in the Fall Economic Statement 2020:

  • With the Minister of Health and the Minister of Digital Government, support the work of the COVID-19 Exposure Notification App Advisory Council, including by ensuring accountability and building public trust in the initiative.
  • Continue to lead the Made in Canada Project - Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 - by supporting Canadian manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) to build domestic capacity and, with the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, working to secure supply chains to keep Canadians safe and create jobs.
  • Continue investing in Canada’s long-term bio-manufacturing capacity and, with the support of the Minister of Health, ensure that Canadian scientists, researchers and post-secondary institutions have the tools and resources they need to advance discoveries of vaccines and therapeutics to combat COVID-19.
  • Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and in close collaboration with Canadian industry and post-secondary institutions, to safeguard Canada’s world-leading research ecosystem, as well as our intellectual property (IP) intensive businesses.
  • As the Minister responsible for the National Research Council of Canada, and with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, continue to support the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force with respect to vaccine purchasing.
  • Work in close collaboration with the Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and the Minister of Indigenous Services on the ongoing work with provinces and territories and Indigenous leaders to ensure COVID-19 vaccines continue to be efficiently and widely distributed to Canadians once they are ready.
  • Continue to evaluate sector-specific pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, where appropriate, work with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to tailor support for those sectors hit hardest, such as travel and tourism, hospitality and cultural industries like the performing arts. You will be supported in this work by the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The ongoing work of the Economic Strategy Tables will also inform this work.
  • Support the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to create over one million jobs, restoring employment to levels prior to the pandemic by leveraging the strength of Canada’s innovation economy and using a range of tools, including direct investments in the social sector and infrastructure, immediate training to quickly up-skill workers and incentives for employers to hire and retain workers.
  • As part of Canada’s climate plan:
    • Work with the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Transport, and with the support of the Special Representative for the Prairies, to implement the Net-Zero Accelerator Fund in continuing to support Canada’s manufacturing, transportation, natural resource and energy sectors as they work to transform to meet a net-zero future, creating good-paying and long-lasting jobs;
    • Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of Natural Resources, and with the support of the Special Representative for the Prairies, to ensure that Canada is the most competitive jurisdiction in the world for clean technology companies, including by supporting investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and next-generation clean energy and technology solutions, including in Indigenous communities; and
    • Support the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Natural Resources to make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable while investing in more charging stations across the country, and ensure Canada is globally competitive in building zero-emissions vehicles and batteries.
  • Recognizing that all Canadians need the tools to fully participate in and benefit from the digital economy, support the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development on the continued implementation of the Universal Broadband Fund to ensure that all Canadians, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet. Your work should include considerations around the effective use and deployment of innovative technologies, such as low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, to connect all Canadians.
  • Support the Minister of Canadian Heritage to ensure that the revenues of web giants are shared more fairly with our creators and media, and require them to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of our stories on screen, in lyrics, in music and in writing.
  • As the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada:
    • Support the President of the Treasury Board to build a whole-of-government approach for the better collection, analysis and availability of disaggregated data; and
    • Support the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages to better account for and better serve minority language communities through a thorough post-census survey.
  • Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Minister of Canadian Heritage to take action on combatting hate groups and online hate and harassment, ideologically motivated violent extremism and terrorist organizations.
  • With the support of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, continue to further progress on increasing gender equality, diversity and inclusion in Canadian companies, including through the promotion and adoption of the 50 – 30 Challenge.
  • Continue to support efforts by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to develop a comprehensive blue economy strategy aligned with Canada’s economic recovery and focused on growing Canada’s ocean economy to create good middle class jobs and opportunities for ocean sectors and coastal communities, while advancing reconciliation and conservation objectives.

Sincerely,

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada

*This Ministerial Mandate Letter was signed by the Prime Minister in the Minister’s first official language.