Conservatives unveil innovation policy ahead of potential election call, marking departure from Liberals

DM

The Conservatives on Wednesday laid out their new innovation policy ahead of an expected election call, part of an effort by the party to distinguish itself as an alternative to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one that could dependably navigate the post-pandemic economic recovery. The Conservative proposal, if fully realized, could mark a departure from years of Liberal innovation policy, which many observers say has become unfocused and weighed down by a long list of incongruous subsidy programs. Still, the plan represents only a broad framework to boost Canadian innovation and secure intellectual property — a crucial goal that has eluded policymakers for years. The plan, announced by Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, includes efforts to slash by half income tax rates on new technologies patented in Canada, review and potentially trim back Ottawa’s bloated subsidy landscape, streamline a key innovation tax credit, and create a dedicated government agency to fund research into next-generation technologies such as electric car batteries, modular nuclear reactors, pharmaceuticals and carbon capture and storage, among other things.

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