The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. It’s always nice to see comments and suggestions from industry leaders spark change within government. Whether that means change is really afoot or it is simply lip service from a government representative, no one really knows.  That is what happened at the e-Commerce to the e-Economy Conference in Kanata on September 27 when after a day of finger pointing on the part of the private sector, the minister of Industry Canada delayed delivering his keynote by about 15 minutes so he could change his speech. A panel chaired by former Industry minister John Manley made repeated calls for the government to take a greater leadership role in bringing the benefits of Internet and information and communications technologies (ICT) to businesses of all sizes. Manley even went out on a limb and speculated, in a not-so-serious tone, that Emerson would actually respond to calls for more government involvement as ‘been there, done that’. It appears, however, that the words of the panelists and those of Manley resonated within Emerson’s office as he delivered an altered speech addressing concerns expressed earlier in the day. Whether the message got through, or he was simply telling the delegates what they wanted to hear, won’t be known. But many in attendance believed Emerson to genuinely wants to promote the benefits of ICT to the country’s small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community. It is early in his mandate as Industry minister, and as he pointed out in his speech he is trying to get his head around the role of Industry Canada in shaping the future for Canadian businesses. On a positive note, it’s a role that he will come to understand given his background in the private sector. But the question was never over whether he would recognize the importance of SMEs to the economy, but whether he was going to step up to the plate and show leadership by implementing policies that will help these companies compete in a global economy. Manley had it right when he said SMEs need a champion, and hopefully Emerson is it.