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There’s a broad consensus among economic policy experts in Canada – including those within the walls of the federal government – that greater innovation is critical to solving the country’s productivity problems. So why is Ottawa spending less and less on science and technology every year?

A new report from Statistics Canada shows that the federal government plans to spend $10.28-billion on science and technology in the current fiscal year – down 5.4 per cent from last year. That will mark the fourth straight year the government has decreased its spending, reducing investment by nearly 15 per cent in that time. In real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) terms, Ottawa’s science and technology spending is at its lowest level since 2000-01.

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