Hard work lies ahead for superclusters – by Sarah Turnbull (iPolitics.ca – February 16, 2018)

iPolitics.ca

The Liberal government’s $950 million supercluster program is being touted as a good news story Friday – despite ongoing hesitation about what comes next for the five winning projects, stakeholders say.

“It can’t just be about a billion-dollar cheque,” said Jamison Steeve, executive director of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. “There’s an actual positive force of the government, that is as an organizer, as convener and as a cajoler.”

The five supercluster winners were announced Thursday and are distributed fairly evenly across the country, with hubs being located in British Columbia, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario. This is causing a bit of eyebrow raising within the tech circle, he said.

The government has said it expects the project will create up to 50,000 new middle class jobs and give a $50 billion economic boost over the next 10 years. The fact that the projects are located in five distinct regions instead of being pan-Canadian has Steeve worried.

“But I’m not willing to jump to that conclusion yet until we see what results are achieved.” More transparency is needed around why and how the superclusters were chosen and what the goals are for them. He said if he was asked today why the oceans, fisheries submission was better than the mining submission from Northern Ontario, he wouldn’t have an answer.

For the rest of this article: https://ipolitics.ca/2018/02/16/execution-will-test-supercluster-success/

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