The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports."Investing in our people" appears to be the federal government’s newest catch phrase. Speaking at an event in Windsor last week, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said "we know we have to invest in people to become competitive."  A week earlier in a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade, Finance minister Paul Martin talked about the need "to invest in people to ensure that Canadians have the tools they need to succeed" in the knowledge-based economy. When Canada’s two most senior politicians use the same lingo in the run up to a federal election, it isn’t a coincidence. It’s no secret that Industry Canada is gearing up for the next phase of its "Connectedness" agenda. Bringing high-speed Internet links to schools and libraries across Canada, particularly in remote regions, has given speech writers a wealth of fodder for federal ministers over the past several years. But as the government is quickly realizing, the first phase of its "Connecting Canadians" agenda could prove far easier to fulfil than the next stage. Developing next generation Internet networks, systems and applications relies on training, retaining and attracting highly skilled workers in universities, publicly funded research labs and the private sector. And as it stands today, we’re failing on all three fronts. The cure-all for this crisis isn’t tax cuts, despite what some media would have us believe. Higher salaries and more resources are what’s needed to keep and attract the university professors that will train the next generation of ICT professionals. Industry realizes this and the elite among them are spearheading a $500,000 campaign to convince Paul Martin that without at least $550 million in new funding for universities and research labs, Canada can forget about becoming a leader in the new information economy. Neither Martin nor Chrétien made any promises in their speeches. But for those who dissect such orations for clues of future spending priorities, the signs are certainly encouraging. The government has gained too much political mileage from its "Connectedness" agenda to let it die such a preventable death.