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Our New Government: What does this mean for science?

Election 2019 has come and gone! 

If you’re like me, you probably stayed up late, watching the votes roll in, and discussing the results with your friends and family. If you’re curious what this new government might mean for science, research, and evidence-based decision-making in Canada, we’ve put together a brief analysis to help you out.

Science Policy Questionnaire Results

In preparation for the federal election, Evidence for Democracy, alongside almost 20 Canadian science and research organizations launched the #VoteScience campaign. Science and research are rarely key issues in a federal election. The campaign aimed to change this, by providing tools and resources to help Canadians engage with their candidates, demonstrate why science, research, and evidence are fundamental election issues, and inform themselves on how to vote for science-friendly candidates. 

A media and Twitter storm erupted last week when a spokesperson from Elections Canada suggested that climate change would be a regulated “election issue” because Maxime Bernier had questioned climate science.  

What has ensued is a perfect example of how unclear policies, speculation and superficial journalism can quickly cause confusion and make it difficult to determine the truth. What’s ironic is that this problem centers around the updated Elections Act. An update which was in part intended to deal with the growing threat of misinformation and the influence it could have on the election. 

Pre-Budget Consultation Submission Budget 2020

Each year, in preparation for the federal budget, the House of Commons Finance Committee invites the public to submit proposals on what they feel should be a top funding priority for the upcoming year. This year, the committee requested submissions specifically on the theme “Climate Emergency: The Required Transition to a Low Carbon Economy”.

Inquiring into Ontario science and research

A few months back, we shared an update on science and research in Ontario, including some concerns about potential reductions in funding for scientific research and an update on our work regarding the dismissal of the Chief Scientist. In February, we sent a letter to Premier Ford reminding him of the importance of the position and inquiring about the status of hiring a replacement Chief Scientist for Ontario.