Speech From the Throne calls for more knowledge mobilization for Canada

The Speech from the Throne opens every new session of Parliament. The Speech introduces the government’s direction and goals, and outlines how it will work to achieve them. On November 23, 2021, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the first session of the 44th Parliament and outline the government’s agenda.

The Speech from the Throne is an important moment in the Parliamentary process. It is much more than ceremonial. It articulates what this Government feels must be tackled. It is the Government’s assessment of priorities for Canadians. I went through the Speech from the Throne and assessed whether each priority might be served uniquely by knowledge mobilization, by commercialization or a combination of both.

Most government priorities articulated in the Speech from the Throne are the subject of public policy, professional practice and/or social services and are thus opportunities for knowledge mobilization.  These include:

• Strengthened healthcare system
• Public health
• Accessibility
• Rural communities
• Mental health and addictions
• Long term care
• Housing
• Child care & child poverty
• Immigration
• Biodiversity
• Gun violence
• Anti-racism
• Equity and inclusion
• Reconciliation
• International trade

We will never patent our way to addressing these Government priorities. These are all subjects where Canadian research can have an impact through knowledge mobilization.

An additional priority is “resilient, sustainable and competitive economy” and can be addressed by both technology transfer and knowledge mobilization. The only government priority which is uniquely addressed by commercialization is “clean steel, aluminium, building products, cars and planes.” 

This Government’s priorities can be supported by university research in all disciplines if only Canada’s universities build capacity to support knowledge mobilization. Research Impact Canada (RIC) is leading the way in building knowledge mobilization capacity in Canada’s universities and other research organizations such as Ontario Shores, the first non-university RIC member. More RIC = more knowledge mobilization = greater potential to have an impact on what this Government thinks is important to Canadians.