Science and Technology minister

A Hill Times article discussing the new cabinet included the following:

Insiders said last week as well that Industry Canada may be split into two departments, one focused on innovation and science and technology and the other remaining Industry, making way for a full Science and Technology minister, rather than a secretary of state

My first thought: about time.

This is a great idea that should have been done long ago. The details may turn out to be complex, as the line between what is considered Science and Tech compared to industry isn't always shared by everyone.

I would also expect that this may come with a separate standing committee, separating INDU into two and allowing each committee to better focus their studies.

My hope is that a stronger cabinet minister will be put in. This is the minister that will be the key person on things such as the CRTC, telecom, and other policies which I believe clearly falls under technology. It will take someone like Tony Clement (Parry Sound - Muskoka) to move forward on these complex files. Gary Goodyear (Cambridge) did not demonstrate the strength and understanding of technology needed when he was previously the secretary of state.

It would be nice to see technology law such as Copyright and Patent clarified under this new ministry. Copyright is currently confusingly joint between Industry and Heritage, even though the Copyright Act clarifies the Minister of Industry as the Minister responsible.

I believe Heritage is under a form of regulatory capture, similar to what we see in the various silos within the CRTC. The subset of stakeholders that Heritage seems to primarily concern itself with can and do lobby politicians and departmental bureaucrats directly. Having this overlap has given a subset of stakeholders an unfair advantage.

Copyright needs to be understood as technology law, not cultural policy or educational policy. This clarity would help ensure better and more robust cultural policy can be moved forward by Heritage and both cultural and educational policy moved forward by the provinces.