Speeches | Sustainable Development Technology

09 December 2010

Honourable senators, in case you have not been here long enough, I thought I would make a few comments on something that has been a very good news story, but the risk is that if the government does not take some obvious and relatively, I would say, easy action, then it will become a bad news story.

I want to speak to Sustainable Development Technology Canada, an institution established in 2002 by the Liberal government as a policy instrument to deliver environmental and economic benefits to Canadians and to do that through well-placed, expertly analyzed investments in clean tech, high tech initiatives in Canada. Over these last eight years, it has fostered the development and demonstration of a variety of technological solutions that address, among other things, clean air, clean water, clean land and, yes, you guessed it, climate change.

It does this by forging innovative partnerships and building a sustainable development technology infrastructure, which has become literally one of the most highly recognized and appreciated such infrastructures in the world, consisting of expert technology analysts, investment analysts who have forged an immensely successful track record over those last number of years. I will refer to it as SDTC.

SDTC bridges the gap that has frequently been missed in the important chain of stages in the development of innovative ideas ultimately to commercially-viable products and services. There are many links in the innovation chain between research and commercialization. We think that it is from research to commercialization that successful projects and products evolve, but in fact there are a variety of steps along the way. Two of them are development and demonstration. These are, unfortunately, traditionally unsupported, but SDTC was established specifically to fill that gap and to take technologies from the laboratory, often literally, and to give them the resources or assist them in getting the resources to develop full-scale, real-world test situations from which they could derive greater funding and support, so that these could go on to be commercially-viable products and processes.

The track record has been truly outstanding. Over those eight years, SDTC has received $550 million in funding from the federal government. The majority of that came under the federal Liberal government. They have placed upwards of $500 million to this point. That $500 million has supported 195 projects. In turn, these projects have generated about three times again as much seed funding from the private sector and, in total, they have resulted in commercial projects in the order of $17.7 billion. This has resulted in thousands of jobs. I should point out that this money has been invested across the country, creating those jobs in each corner of this country.

They do this not by being interventionist in a classic sense or any kind of negative sense. SDTC has been very careful to develop its model of investment through collaboration among private, academic and public sector partners. As I mentioned earlier, they have provided tremendous leverage in the private sector equity markets for companies receiving their funding. In fact, there is tremendous analysis that demonstrates that companies that receive SDTC funding end up with a great deal more leverage for private sector funding than companies that do not receive that.

That is in part because the private sector capital markets have such confidence in the ability of SDTC to pick winners. Certainly, if they are not all winners, at least to pick very good technologies and companies that promise to have tremendous success. The very success of the SDTC is not something that they, in a sense, have to speak of themselves. It is proven by the private sector, which follows their lead in investing in these 195 companies.

I will mention two companies from Alberta that are very timely, given the debate right now about climate change and about the oil sands. Titanium Corporation is an Alberta company that extracts heavy minerals, primarily zircon — I know that Senator Day, who is an engineer, will know exactly what that is — and bitumen from tailings ponds. That is a prevalent problem in the media and in the environment at this very moment.

Titanium Corporation is developing a technology that promises to solve that problem in a way that is much quicker, reduces the water required in these tailings ponds, and can be done in a very economic way. That is one project that has received SDTC funding that is making real progress and promises to solve a huge problem for my home province of Alberta.

Quantiam Technologies Inc. is another Alberta company that has developed a coating for furnace tubes used to develop plastics derived from olefins, one of the most energy intensive petrochemicals to manufacture. This coating extends the lifetime of these furnace tubes and lowers the temperature needed for chemical reactions, which means the furnace is operationally more efficient, requires less fuel, is a less expensive process, and reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases as a result. It is particularly flexible in its application because this technology can be retrofitted to existing furnaces. The huge potential market for this technology could be as much as $1 billion globally.

I draw the attention of colleagues in the Senate, particularly on the government side, to this agency, SDTC, because it has done so much good in an area that is so important and in need of capital market support. It has distinguished itself in a way that we can only wish that every government agency that works with the private sector could distinguish itself. It has more than just distinguished itself, it is seen by the private sector to be a leader in this area of analyzing, for investment purposes, high-tech investment opportunities.

SDTC is truly a win for Canada. It is truly a win for our economy, for those people who have received jobs because of it, and it has tremendous potential for the future. There is no reason for it to stop, except one, and that is that it has not received any more funding from this government.

I simply raise this issue to encourage honourable senators, particularly on the government side, to approach their Prime Minister, the Ministers of Industry and Finance, to ensure that money is provided to SDTC so that it does not become yet another casualty of this government's inability to manage both the economy and the fiscal regime of this country.


Give us your feedback about this speech.

We would love hearing your comments about this speech. Please submit them using the form below.

Your contact information

First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Province:
Postal Code:
Comment:

Selected Speeches

Boyle Street Community Services

Oct 5, 2016

Bill S-229: An Act Respecting Underground Infrastructure Safety

Oct 4, 2016

Telus World of Science

Jun 16, 2016

Second reading of Bill C-14, Medical Assistance in Dying

Jun 3, 2016

Wildfires in Fort McMurray—Emergency Appeal

May 5, 2016

Digging Safely

Apr 21, 2016

In Pursuit of Common Ground

Mar 18, 2016

Speech from the Throne—Motion for Address in Reply

Dec 10, 2015

Second Reading of my Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Bill

Jun 22, 2015

Second Reading of my Enhancement of Civilian Review and Oversight in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Bill

Jun 19, 2015

Third reading of Bill C-51, Anti-terrorism Bill, 2015

Jun 2, 2015

Second reading of Bill C-51, Anti-terrorism Bill, 2015

May 13, 2015

Tribute to The Late Honourable Pierre Claude Nolin, Speaker of the Senate

Apr 29, 2015

Third reading of Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other Acts

Apr 1, 2015

Bill 10 in Alberta

Mar 11, 2015

Speech at Report Stage for Bill C-279

Mar 10, 2015

Second reading of Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other Acts

Feb 25, 2015

Senate energy report makes recommendations to protect underground infrastructure

Dec 16, 2014

HeForShe Campaign

Oct 1, 2014

Dandelion Renewables

Sep 25, 2014

Alberta Emerald Foundation

Sep 18, 2014

Global Wind Day

Jun 13, 2014

Safe Digging Month

Apr 29, 2014

Northwest Territories Devolution Bill

Feb 27, 2014

Speech at second reading of Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity)

Feb 4, 2014

Forestry Industry

Dec 10, 2013

Geothermal Energy

Nov 28, 2013

Trans Day of Remembrance

Nov 20, 2013

Discours au congrès de la Canadian Common Ground Alliance

Nov 18, 2013

Speech to the Canadian Common Ground Alliance convention

Nov 14, 2013

Child, Family and Adolescent Mental Health

Jun 25, 2013

Speech at Third Reading of Bill C-42 (Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act)

May 23, 2013

Speech at Second Reading of Bill C-42 (Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act)

Apr 16, 2013

Speech at second reading of Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity)

Apr 16, 2013

Allotment of Time on Budget 2012

Dec 13, 2012

Speech at Second Reading of Budget 2012, Bill C-45

Dec 10, 2012

Speech on Korean War Veterans Day Bill

Dec 6, 2012

Two speeches on the third reading of Budget 2012, Bill C-45

Dec 6, 2012

iSisters Technology Mentoring

Nov 2, 2011

Canadian Wheat Board

Oct 18, 2011

"Because I Am a Girl" Campaign

Oct 18, 2011

La campagne « Parce que je suis une fille »

Oct 18, 2011

La Commission canadienne du blé

Oct 18, 2011

Canadian Foundation for Women's Health

Sep 29, 2011

Thinking of Jack Layton

Aug 23, 2011

Le Budget des dépenses de 2011-2012

Jun 26, 2011

L'école secondaire Queen Elizabeth

Jun 23, 2011

Queen Elizabeth High School - Congratulations on Fiftieth Anniversary

Jun 23, 2011

Le budget de 2011

Jun 16, 2011

Budget 2011 - Inquiry

Jun 16, 2011

DeforestAction

Jun 9, 2011

DeforestAction

Jun 9, 2011

La Loi sur les mesures de réinsertion et d'indemnisation des militaires et vétérans des Forces canadiennes La Loi sur les pensions

Mar 24, 2011

Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act Pension Act

Mar 24, 2011

Support Program for Aboriginal Nursing Students at the University of Lethbridge

Mar 9, 2011

Sur le Programme de soutien des étudiants autochtones en nursing de l’Université de Lethbridge

Mar 9, 2011

Corporate and Income Taxes

Feb 3, 2011

Climate Change Policy

Feb 2, 2011

Women in Prisons in Canada

Dec 15, 2010

Les femmes incarcérées au Canada

Dec 15, 2010

Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Bill

Dec 14, 2010

Economic mismanagement

Dec 13, 2010

La gestion de l'économie.

Dec 13, 2010

Sustainable Development Technology

Dec 9, 2010

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Bill

Dec 9, 2010

Edmonton's Bid for Expo 2017

Dec 9, 2010

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies' Creditor Arrangment Act

Nov 30, 2010

Women's Equality in Canada — Inquiry

Nov 23, 2010

National Day of Service Bill

Nov 3, 2010

Senatorial Selection Bill

Nov 2, 2010

Second reading of Bill S-221, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (carbon offset tax credit)

Oct 7, 2010

Jobs and Economic Growth Bill – Sixth Report of National Finance Committee Negatived

Jul 21, 2010

Study on the Current State and Future of Energy Sector

Jun 15, 2010

Bill C-311, Climate Change Accountability

Jun 1, 2010

The State of the Senate's Online Presence

Jun 1, 2010

Bilingual Supreme Court Judges

May 12, 2010

Environment and Human Rights

May 4, 2010

Erosion of Freedom of Speech

Apr 27, 2010

What is Realistic and Effective Parliamentary Reform?

Mar 17, 2010

It's Time To Shelve Bottled Water

May 5, 2009

The Danger of Unintended Consequences - Senate Reform

Apr 28, 2009

Bill S-3, Energy Efficiency Act

Feb 12, 2009

Bill S-213, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (carbon offset tax credit)

Feb 10, 2009

Bill C-474, Federal Sustainable Development Act

Jun 18, 2008

Bill C-33, An Act to Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

Jun 12, 2008

Bill S-228, An Act to amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act

Feb 26, 2008

Speech from the Throne: A Government Without Leadership

Oct 30, 2007

Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Jun 18, 2007

Kyoto: Response to the Third Reading

May 31, 2007

Statements on the second reading of the Budget Implementation Bill

Jun 13, 2006