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Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Mandate Letter

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December 16, 2021

Office of the Prime Minister

Dear Minister Champagne:

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

From the beginning of this pandemic, Canadians have faced a once-in-a-century challenge. And through it all, from coast to coast to coast, people have met the moment. When it mattered most, Canadians adapted, helped one another, and stayed true to our values of compassion, courage and determination. That is what has defined our path through this pandemic so far. And that is what will pave our way forward.

During a difficult time, Canadians made a democratic choice. They entrusted us to finish the fight against COVID-19 and support the recovery of a strong middle class. At the same time, they also gave us clear direction: to take bold, concrete action to build a healthier, more resilient future. That is what Canadians have asked us to do and it is exactly what our Government is ready to deliver. We will work to build that brighter future through continued collaboration, engagement, and the use of science and evidence-based decision-making. With an unwavering focus on delivering results, we will work constructively with Parliamentarians and maintain our strong partnerships with provincial, territorial and municipal governments and Indigenous partners. This decade has had an incredibly difficult start, but this is the moment to rebuild a more resilient, inclusive and stronger country for everyone.

The science is clear. Canadians have been clear. We must not only continue taking real climate action, we must also move faster and go further. As Canadians are increasingly experiencing across the country, climate change is an existential threat. Building a cleaner, greener future will require a sustained and collaborative effort from all of us. As Minister, I expect you to seek opportunities within your portfolio to support our whole-of-government effort to reduce emissions, create clean jobs and address the climate-related challenges communities are already facing.

This year, Canadians were horrified by the discovery of unmarked graves and burial sites near former residential schools. These discoveries underscore that we must move faster on the path of reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. We know that reconciliation cannot come without truth and our Government will continue to invest in that truth. As Ministers, each of us has a duty to further this work, both collectively and as individuals. Consequently, I am directing every Minister to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to advance their rights.

We must continue to address the profound systemic inequities and disparities that remain present in the core fabric of our society, including our core institutions. To this effect, it is essential that Canadians in every region of the country see themselves reflected in our Government’s priorities and our work. As Minister, I expect you to include and collaborate with various communities, and actively seek out and incorporate in your work, the diverse views of Canadians. This includes women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized Canadians, newcomers, faith-based communities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2 Canadians, and, in both official languages.

Across our work, we remain committed to ensuring that public policies are informed and developed through an intersectional lens, including applying frameworks such as Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) and the quality of life indicators in decision-making.

Canadians continue to rely on journalists and journalism for accurate and timely news. I expect you to maintain professional and respectful relationships with journalists to ensure that Canadians are well informed and have the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, Canadians and their governments have adapted to new realities. Governments must draw on lessons learned from the pandemic to further adapt and develop more agile and effective ways to serve Canadians. To this end, I expect all Ministers to evaluate ways we can update our practices to ensure our Government continues to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The success of this Parliament will require Parliamentarians, both in the House of Commons and the Senate, to work together across all parties to get big things done for Canadians. I expect you to maintain constructive relationships with your Opposition Critics and coordinate any legislation with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. As Minister, you are accountable to Parliament both individually, for your style of leadership and the performance of your responsibilities, and collectively, in support of our Ministry and decisions taken by Cabinet. Open and Accountable Government sets out these core principles and the standards of conduct expected of you and your office. I expect you to familiarize yourself with this document, which outlines my expectations for each member of the Ministry.

Our platform lays out an ambitious agenda. While finishing the fight against the pandemic must remain our central focus, we must continue building a strong middle class and work toward a better future where everyone has a real and fair chance at success and no one is left behind.

As Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, you will lead efforts to create more jobs and achieve long-term economic and industrial transformation towards a low-carbon future, including through the strategic delivery of the Net Zero Accelerator Initiative. You will work to ensure that Canada is a world leader in clean technology, with a focus on critical minerals and the development of a sustainable battery innovation and industrial ecosystem, and position Canada to seize the opportunities of the digital economy, protecting rights and competitiveness and establishing a digital policy task force to help integrate efforts across government. You will likewise continue to implement the Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy to improve economic growth and ensure pandemic readiness for years to come. And you will ensure we continue to better understand how our programs and policies impact Canadians through the increased use of disaggregated data.

To realize these objectives, I ask that you achieve results for Canadians by delivering the following commitments.

  • With the support of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources, lead the implementation of the Net Zero Accelerator Initiative, anchored in a robust, horizontal governance structure and a clear long-term investment strategy to support the strategic review of large-scale investments targeting key industrial sectors across all regions in order to drive industrial transition and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on a scale consistent with achieving Canada’s climate goals and meaningfully transform Canadian industry to lead and compete in a net-zero emissions future.
  • Establish a digital policy task force to integrate efforts across government and position Canada as a leader in the digital economy and in shaping global governance of emerging technologies.
  • Introduce legislation to advance the Digital Charter, strengthen privacy protections for consumers and provide a clear set of rules that ensure fair competition in the online marketplace.
  • Accelerate broadband delivery by implementing a “use it or lose it” approach to require those that have purchased rights to build broadband to meet broadband access milestones or risk losing their spectrum rights.
  • Work with the Minister of Health to continue demonstrating leadership in public health by strengthening surveillance and capacity to detect and act on public health threats, strengthening the security of medical supply chains, working with colleagues to advance the Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, and investing in the study of the long-term health impacts of COVID-19, including the effects of “long COVID” on different groups, notably vulnerable populations and children.
  • Lead the creation of a new fund to pursue moonshot research into high-impact illnesses where a vaccine may be possible.
  • Continue to support the economic growth and recovery of Canada’s traditionally strong industries, including but not limited to automotive, aerospace, natural resources and agri-food, to increase productivity and innovation, and to strengthen the manufacturing base of Canada.
  • Support the Mines to Mobility Strategy by attracting anchor investments in key areas like minerals processing, cell manufacturing and zero-emissions vehicle parts and assembly manufacturing, and use all tools, including the Investment Canada Act, to ensure the protection and development of our critical minerals. This will include working with the Minister of Natural Resources to develop and launch a Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy to position Canada at the forefront of critical mineral exploration, extraction, processing and manufacturing, as a global leader in the production of batteries, and other clean and digital technologies, as well as to develop a sustainable battery innovation and industrial ecosystem in Canada, including to establish Canada as a global leader in battery manufacturing, recycling and reuse.
  • Advance efforts to ensure that Canada is a world leader in clean technology, including by:
    • Building on existing advisory services to guide emerging clean technology firms from formation to export;
    • With support from the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, helping to drive the development of Canadian clean technology companies and small and medium-sized enterprises working in the area of decarbonization;
    • Working with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to support procurement of Canadian clean technology; and
    • Partnering with post-secondary institutions and Indigenous organizations to accelerate the creation and growth of Indigenous clean technology businesses.
  • Work with the Minister of Natural Resources on the development of model building codes, including publishing a net-zero emissions building code and model retrofit code by the end of 2024 that align with national climate objectives and provide a standard for climate-resilient buildings. You will also work to amend the National Building Code of Canada to specify firefighter and first responder safety as a core objective. To ensure effective implementation of these performance standards, work with partners to develop strategies around incentives, training programs and pilot initiatives.
  • Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the creation of a new infrastructure and innovation fund that will scale-up and commercialize made-in-Canada technologies and solutions for the reuse and recycling of plastics.
  • Work with the Minister of Natural Resources to establish a global centre for excellence on methane detection and elimination.
  • Support the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness to develop a climate data strategy to ensure that the private sector and communities have access to data to inform planning and infrastructure investments.
  • Contribute to broader efforts to promote economic security and combat foreign interference by reviewing and modernizing the Investment Canada Act to strengthen the national security review process and better identify and mitigate economic security threats from foreign investment.
  • Working with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Minister of National Defence and Minister of Public Safety, and with the support of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, continue to advance the National Cyber Security Action Plan, ensuring Canada is well positioned to adapt to and combat cyber risks, and ensure the security and integrity of Canada’s critical systems.
  • Work with the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of National Defence, and in collaboration with implicated ministers, to develop and implement a renewed National Cyber Security Strategy, which will articulate Canada’s long-term strategy to protect our national security and economy, deter cyber threat actors, and promote norms-based international behavior in cyberspace.
  • Advance the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy and additional measures, such as advancing standards and continuing to lead international efforts around coordination, to support artificial intelligence innovations and research in Canada.
  • Launch a National Quantum Strategy to amplify Canada’s strength in quantum research and grow our quantum-ready technologies, companies and talent.
  • Invest in the National Research Council’s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre and reinforce Canada’s leadership in photonics research, testing and prototyping.
  • Develop a new approach to support high-risk/high-reward transformative research and development to unleash bold new research ideas, drive technological breakthroughs, protect Canada’s competitive advantage and help Canadian companies grow and create highly skilled jobs. In moving forward with a uniquely Canadian approach modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), work with the Minister of Health to develop a plan to modernize the federal research funding ecosystem to maximize the impact of investments in both research excellence and downstream innovation, with a particular focus on the relationships among the federal research granting agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • Add 1,000 Canada Research Chairs to help attract and retain top talent at Canadian universities and support graduate research, with a focus on improving gender and racial equity among faculty, promoting interdisciplinary research and reinforcing Canada’s world-leading capabilities in life sciences and bio-medical research.
  • Establish a new fund to help colleges and universities commercialize leading research, including identifying and securing patent rights for research done within their institutions and connecting researchers with people and businesses to help put these innovations into action and grow our economy.
  • Continue to support innovation ecosystems across the country to support job creation, technology adoption and scale-up. This includes working with the Minister of Public Safety, 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 Statistics Canada, continue to support the President of the Treasury Board in their work in building a whole-of-government approach for the improved collection, analysis, availability and publication of disaggregated data.
  • Improve support for Black and Indigenous researchers by including a specific equity target for their representation in federally-funded scientific research delivered through the granting councils and providing dedicated funding to support promising graduate students, foster the mentorship and development of younger researchers and increase opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and Black Canadians in Canadian post-secondary institutions.  
  • Engage with provinces and seek feedback from universities, colleges, experts, lenders and other post-secondary education stakeholders to explore ways to better protect the public interest functions of public post-secondary educational institutions in insolvency and restructuring situations.
  • Support the Chief Science Advisor in their work to bolster the capacity and increase the coordination of the use of science across government.
  • Work with the Minister of Canadian Heritage to amend the Copyright Act to further protect artists, creators and copyright holders, including to allow resale rights for artists.
  • To enhance consumer protection and ensure a level playing field for all businesses, undertake a broad review of the current legislative and structural elements that may restrict or hinder competition. This includes directly reviewing the mandate of the Commissioner of Competition, and in so doing, ensuring that Canadians are protected from anti-consumer practices in critical sectors, including in the oil and gas, telecommunications and financial services sectors.
  • With the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, work to strengthen and secure supply chains and support the Minister of Transport to reduce and prevent bottlenecks in Canada’s transportation networks.
  • Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to implement a ‘right to repair’ to extend the life of home appliances, particularly electronics, by requiring manufacturers to supply repair manuals and spare parts, and by amending the Copyright Act to allow for the repair of digital devices and systems.
  • Work with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and with the support of the Minister of National Revenue, to implement a beneficial ownership registry.
  • Support the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Minister of National Defence to renew the fleets of the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy, advance the shipbuilding industry, including the process to add a third Canadian shipyard as a strategic partner to the National Shipbuilding Strategy, create middle class jobs and ensure Canada has the modern ships needed.

As Minister, you are also responsible for actively engaging with your Cabinet and Caucus colleagues. As we deliver on our platform commitments, it will be important that members of the Ministry continue to collaborate and work constructively to support rigorous and productive Cabinet decision-making. I expect you to support your colleagues in delivering their commitments, leveraging the expertise of your department and your own lived experiences.

To best achieve results for Canadians, Ministers must be rigorous and coordinated in our approach to implementation. I would therefore ask that you return to me with a proposed approach for the delivery of your mandate commitments, including priorities for early implementation. Furthermore, to ensure we are accountable for our work, I will be asking you to publicly report to me, and all Canadians, on your progress toward these commitments on a regular basis.

As we have been reminded throughout the pandemic, adapting to change is not only something government should do, it is something government must do. As you work to fulfil our commitments, I expect you to actively consider new ideas and issues as they emerge, whether through public engagement, your work with Parliamentarians or advice from the public service. I also expect you to work with your Deputy Minister to assess priorities on a continual basis as we build a better future for all Canadians. In addition to achieving results, you are responsible for overseeing the work of your department and ensuring the effective operation of your portfolio.

As you staff your office and implement outreach and recruitment strategies for federally appointed leadership positions and boards, I ask that you uphold the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. This helps ensure that federal workplaces are dynamic and reflective of the Canadians we serve. You will also ensure your Minister’s office and portfolio are reflective of our commitment to healthy and safe workplaces.

Canadians expect us to work hard, speak truthfully and be committed to advancing their interests and aspirations. When we make mistakes – as we all will – Canadians expect us to acknowledge them, and most importantly, to learn from them.

I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you, and to turn to me, and the Deputy Prime Minister, early and often to support you in your role as Minister.


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.