In a letter to National Defence Minister Anita Anand, Goldy Hyder called for greater collaboration between industry and government in defending Canada’s economic security.

Dear Minister,

This week Canadians are honouring the sacrifices of those who fought and gave their lives in defence of our country and our values. Remembrance Day ceremonies will have a particular poignancy this year given the war in Ukraine and the heightened risk of geopolitical conflict. Amid rising threats to our national security, Canada must strengthen its defences on a variety of fronts, including domestic economic security. 

To that end, earlier this year you and Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will host the North American regional office of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). This initiative is intended to bring together the best and brightest minds from the public and private sectors and act as a catalyst for industrial policy to drive the development and commercialization of research and innovation. 

Research and innovation enhance the competitiveness of domestic industries and must be at the core of our industrial policy. The Department of National Defence has an important role to play in it by bringing industry and academia together to solve practical problems and work on breakthrough technologies that can later be commercialized by Canadian firms. 

While we appreciate DND has long attempted to leverage public procurements through Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs), the defence departments of our primary international allies are more actively involved in both innovation and industrial policy. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a particularly compelling model. 

Increased cooperation between business and government can also strengthen and safeguard our economic security more broadly. Working together we can enhance the robustness and resiliency of our key industrial capabilities, cyber and telecom networks, supply chains, and critical infrastructure.  

Canada is facing greater and graver risks than at any time since the Cold War. That is among the reasons we called earlier this year for a significant increase in defence spending – and why the government promised in Budget 2022 to conduct a defence policy review. As you carry out this review we hope you will recognize Canadian businesses as partners in the protection of Canada. 

Yours very truly, 

Goldy Hyder