Evidence for Democracy’s pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

Monday, August 9, 2021 - 15:07

COVID-19 has put science in the global spotlight like never before. From immunology, virology and epidemiology, to genome sequencing and mRNA vaccines, the solutions delivered by science have unfolded at a pace unmatched by nearly any other tool at our disposal over the past 18 months. This problem-solving capacity should not be tucked away for the next crisis, but deliberately deployed as an approach to tackling our biggest challenges. 

While the Government of Canada has made thoughtful investments in science over the years, it lacks an overarching strategy to guide efforts to connect research to long-term innovation objectives and major policy challenges. If Canada is to unlock the full potential of its ever-growing knowledge assets and talent capacity, then it is time for Canadian science to move towards clear goals. 

To achieve this, Evidence for Democracy presents one recommendation as part of the 2022 federal budget consultation: that the government commit funds to develop a National Science Strategy. 

A pan-Canadian knowledge strategy that defines the problems we are trying to solve can connect science to where it is needed most. It should also include the entire spectrum of science and research stakeholders, and, at minimum, consider the following pillars:

  1. Investment: clear targets for science and research funding
  2. Infrastructure: science advice and capacity in government 
  3. Information: evidence-informed policy for equity and prosperity

Canada needs science more than ever. Future proofing our country and economy requires a bolder approach to science to absorb the shocks of the coming decades. We believe a National Science Strategy can help us work together to build strong science, strong democracy, and a stronger future. 


Participating in the Government of Canada’s pre-budget consultation is a great way for the public to give their input into our federal funding decisions. The current consultation has now closed, but you can monitor upcoming budget consultations at the Finance Committee website for ways to take part. For resources and guidance on how to participate in the pre-budget consultation process, visit our training page or contact us at info@evidencefordemocracy.ca


Rachael Maxwell

Executive Director (On leave until October 2023)

Rachael Maxwell joins Evidence for Democracy with a deep knowledge of the science landscape in Canada and a strong track record of success working at national not-for-profit research organizations. From 2018-21 she held progressively responsible roles at Genome Canada, working across the organization on key priorities in communications, public affairs and strategic planning.