2015 Federal budget – Good news for
the CFI, but continued erosion of funding for Discovery research.
CSMB is encouraged by the fact that the Government of Canada considers research
and innovation as priorities that figure prominently in the 2015 budget
announcement. The new 1.33 billion $ funding for the Canada Foundation of
Innovation (CFI) is a critical investment to ensure that Canadian researchers
will continue to have access to cutting edge equipment. The fact that the core
operating budgets of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and of
the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) were exempt from
the cuts facing other federal agencies shows a commitment to research despite a
challenging budget environment. However, the limited new investments of 46
million $ into tri-council funding are largely targeted to specific programs
such as the strategy for patient-oriented research and to industrial
collaborations. As a consequence, funding for Discovery Research in Canada
continues to stagnate thus further eroding our nation’s capacity for research
and future innovations.
fact that significant new investments continue to be made into targeted
programmes, such as the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), shows
that we need to further educate decision makers about the nature of the
scientific process and about the essential role of Discovery Research in the
innovation process. Nobody, neither the best scientists, nor government can
pick winners and predict what research will lead to the next ‘big discovery’,
making targeted investments a questionable use of taxpayer’s money.
board of the CSMB strongly encourages all our members and their colleagues and
fellow students to educate those who want to be elected in October 2015 about
the needs of the scientific community. We as scientists need to speak up
clearly and in large numbers to ensure that the next federal government, no
matter which colour it has, will make more inspired choices!
Christian Baron, President