Trudeau talks tech, innovation with Liberal supporters –

A busy morning for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wrapping up a two-day stay in Waterloo Region.

But Wednesday’s crowd was a little more friendly to him than the Town Hall meeting in Cambridge held the night before.

He spoke to a Liberal fundraiser breakfast at the Delta Hotel in Waterloo, heralding the region for what it has become, calling it “a really important place for the country.”

“It’s an important place because it generates innovation and positive direction that has an impact here in the region, but it also has ripples right across the country,” Trudeau told supporters.

He later commented on the “transformation” of the region going from textile manufacturing to a “leading tech hub.”

“Not just in Canada but in the world, has elements of it that we need to replicate around the world, and mostly we need to continue to invest in here,” he said.

Trudeau adds it’s no coincidence the region is the most welcoming for immigrants and refugees alike, noting there’s understanding diversity is a source of strength and resilience.

He also touched on the struggles people are facing with job security, climate change and foreign policy, all while rallying Liberal supporters ahead of the fall election.

Afterwards, Trudeau headed to Kitchener city hall to have a sit down discussion with each of Waterloo Region’s Mayors, Regional Chair Karen Redman and Liberal MP’s Bardish Chagger, Bryan May, Marwan Tabbara and Raj Saini.

Trudeau made opening comments to the group and media gathered in a conference room, before talking further with dignitaries in private.

In those comments, the Prime Minister touched on federal infrastructure investments made with Ontario about a year ago under the Kathleen Wynne Liberals, and the move to doubling an infrastructure fund in response to the lack of projects being put forward to approve by the new Progressive Conservative government under Doug Ford.

He went on to comment on innovation in the technology and agriculture sector, doubling down on his committment to support farmers.

“Agricultural innovation continues to be a key part of the region here,” he said, “How we’re leading on so many different ways that are important, not just for here, but for across the country and around the world.”

“How we feed ourselves, how we feed our neighbours does involve the kind of innovation and forward thinking and support that we need to have.  That was a big part of the trade deals we signed around the world, to give our agricultural communities more opportunities to export.”

Trudeau started his trip to the region Tuesday with a $52.4 million dollar announcement in the tech sector.

With that, Communitech, MaRS Discovery and Invest Ottawa will pool their resources in what’s called the Scale-Up Platform, a first of its kind for Canada, to help 30 Ontario companies scale up and achieve revenues of $100 million dollars or more by 2024.


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