Manitoba Falls Flat On Cleantech Innovation: Report

Two workers installing solar panels. Manitoba trails in clean-tech innovation compared to other provinces. Photo Source: Home Energy Canada Inc.

Manitoba continues to fall flat when it comes to cleantech  innovation as a province, according to a recent report. This despite a recent sleuth of announcements, from biomass, a green jobs fund, and an electric bus that are supposed to enhance the province’s image as a leader in the renewable energy industry.

Corporate Knights 2012 Canadian Environmental Report Card looked at various categories including: air & climate, water, nature, transportation, waste, energy & buildings, and innovation.

In the innovation category, Manitoba came in with a score of 2.2, 9th overall out of 13 provinces and territories, while finishing second last among the provinces. Newfoundland was the worst province, coming in at tenth, with a score of 1.6.  The three territories (Yukon, North West Territories, and Nunavut) finished 11th, 12th, and 13th, the report said.

The overall score in the category was based on two indicators: the amount of cleantech companies, along with the amount of venture capital being put into the industry.

British Columbia was number one in innovation with 9.3 points. Almost C$138/capita in B.C. was put into green start-up companies between 2002 and 2011. Meanwhile, Ontario in that same time frame saw C$80.5/capita invested in cleantech start-ups. Ontario finished second overall in innovation with 5.2 points.

Alberta, known for controversial oil sand production. even finished ahead of Manitoba in 5th with 4.1 points out of ten.

Data for cleantech companies in the territories was not available, which effected the overall rankings for the three territories, the report noted.

Corporate Knights most recent Canadian environmental report, is a telling tale of  Manitoba’s lack of  forward thinking towards supporting renewable energy start-ups within the province, and creating a thriving, new modern industry.

While this is something I will investigate further, with an op-ed towards a publication or a story for somewhere, the keystone province really needs to support its entrepreneurs and better, particularly those who have the fresh ideas to put people to work.

Macrowikinomics authors Don Tapscott, and Anthony D. Williams suggest a campaign for western countries to create “Jobs Through Entrepreneurship” that will engage various groups in society.  These are words that Manitoba government officials should take to heart.

Groups like the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, Green Action Centre, Climate Change Connection, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), post-secondary educational institutions.  and the Manitoba Labour Federation should sit down and hammer out some clear policy. A policy that will support renewable energy start-ups, while putting people to work.

Whether that happens is very highly unlikely, given the dull policy atmosphere in Manitoba, where innovation and ideas are put at the back burner for composting, and activism.

Photo Credit: Home Energy Canada Inc.


Euro 2012 Day 1: Let the Fun Begin

Sebastian Boenisch, Poland defender (L) vies with Dimitris Salpingidis of Greece in Friday`s action from opening day in Euro 2012. Photo Credit (AFP-Getty Images) – Yahoo! Sports

Ok, so the first post here, I am going to talk about is the start of the European Soccer Championship, otherwise known this year as Euro 2012. Sixteen top teams from Europe compete in what some critics call a better soccer tournament than the FIFA World Cup. The next World Cup is scheduled for 2014 in Brazil. Group A action kicked off the tournament on Friday. The first game saw an encounter between co-host Poland and Greece.

Poland kicked off the scoring in the 17th minute when Poland’s Robert Lewandowski sent the Polish fans into euphoria. Things got even worse for the Greeks, when in the 44th minute, when defender Sokratis Papastathopoulo of Werder Bremen saw his second yellow card, and was automatically sent off. That caused Greece to play the rest of the game with ten men.

However, Greece turned things around in the second half when Dimitris Salpingidis from Greek club side PAOK levelled the score in the  51st minute. Poland would eventually be reduced to ten men also, as Polish goalkeeper Wojiech Szczesny was red carded for taking down a Greek players.

Overall, a spirited affair, and leaves everything up for grabs in Group A for likely the second spot. That is because in the second game, Russia dominated the Czech Republic 4-1. Two goals from Russian forward Alan Dzagoev of CSKA Moscow in the 15th and 79th minute helped put Russia to the top of Group A. Roman Shirokov, from club side Zenit St. Petersberg and Roman Pavlyuchenko from Lokomotiv Moscow, also filled the net for Russia. Václav Pilař, of the Czech Republic, who plays his club soccer with Wolfsburg, accounted for the only German goal of the game.

After today’s results,  I think Russia is the side to beat. I don’t think no one will stop them. The race will be for the coveted number two spot. I think Greece has the inside track here. The resiliency they showed after being down 1-0 and losing a man showed the typical underdog style they are known for. Poland, while tying Greece, and with the home crowd behind them might be piped out here. This was a must win game, that quite frankly, they blew. The Czech Republic, looks like they have a lot of re-tooling to do before the next round of games on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports