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Budget 2018 hits the right notes on science with historic investment in research, improvements in government science

In their 2018 budget tabled today, the Liberal government responded to the concerns raised by the Canadian scientific community with a significant and historic investment in fundamental research.
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Ottawa (February 27, 2018)

“On top of an increase of $925 million over 5 years for fundamental research through the granting councils, the government has proposed forward-thinking solutions to challenges in Canadian science.” said Kathleen Walsh, Director of Policy at Evidence for Democracy. “Initiatives such as the new Tri-Council Fund for interdisciplinary and high-risk research, and investments in improving diversity and equality in academia are the right steps forward.”

Budget 2018 also included new investments in the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, money for the “reimagining” of the National Research Council, and earmarked funds for improvements to federal laboratories. It also proposes a “new, competitive process” for boutique research funding moving forward, to ensure that government money given to research institutions outside the granting councils is allotted in a rigorous and fair process.

The government repeatedly highlighted their commitment to evidence-based decision-making, including through increased funding for Statistics Canada, and a proposal to modernize Statistics Canada, potentially through legislation to ensure it can respond to the data needs of today.

“This success for science in Budget 2018 didn’t happen by chance, it happened because the research community pulled together and advocated in an unprecedented way over the last year,” said Katie Gibbs, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy. “We’re thrilled that the government listened to the concerns of the research community and followed through with these significant investments that will help train the next generation of innovators and improve the daily lives of Canadians.”

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