Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation – “Next Generation of Jobs Fund” a McGuinty Debacle?

With all the talk of government stimulus and spending it is disappointing to see the government not using programs that have already been approved and rolled-out.

Last year, the Ontario Government’s Next Generation of Jobs Fund was rolled out by McGuinty with much fanfare and promises of how his government would be fast tracking the program to “Git’r Done”.    The Next Generation of Jobs Fund is a five-year, $1.15 billion fund intended to create new highly skilled jobs.

“We’re stepping up because Ontario is not going to let others steal our future out from under us – we will produce the next wave of clean technologies that create jobs and clean up the environment,” said Premier McGuinty.

“We’re sending the message to companies around the world that if you’ve got a project that will grow your business and create jobs, we’ll make it happen in Ontario,” said Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra Pupatello.

“This fund is about building on our strengths to ensure Ontario can compete and win in the global economy – and create a better standard of living for Ontario families,” said Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson.

There was also much noise made about how:

Companies are guaranteed a decision within 45 days of submitting a complete proposal.

So, since being announced a year ago….   nothing has happened.

Furthermore, last summer – Nortel, IBM and Carleton University submitted a proposal to establish and collaborate on a project called “Coral CEA”.  The group’s proposal was to setup an organization to focus on development of communications enabled applications with the objective of spinning-off companies and jobs.  In-spite of being under bankruptcy protection Nortel remained committed to the proposal because of it’s strategic value.

This was a proposal from two of Canada’s top innovators and Ottawa’s leading University… and nothing has happened.

In fact, worse then nothing has happened – good ideas have been submitted and no action has been taken.

It appears that the only jobs that the NGoJF is creating are jobs for government organ grinders whose purpose is to turn our “Creative Class” into dancing monkeys for the bureaucracy –

If McGuinty is serious about his commitment to innovation and the NGoJF – he needs to roll up his sleeves and take direct personal action in his government.   Right now McGuinty and his government fall into the category of “Big Hat, No Cattle”.

UPDATE: The Strategic Opportunity Program (part of NGoJF) has been very quietly shut-down …



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