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Budget 2019 fills critical gaps by supporting the next generation of Canadian scientists

Ottawa (March 19, 2019) - The 2019 federal budget tabled today expands on the solid investment in science from budget 2018 by filling critical gaps of funding for graduate student scholarships.

 

“The 114 million over 5 years of new funding to create 500 new master’s level scholarships and 167 new PhD level scholarships fills a key missing piece from the 2018 budget”, said Dr. Kimberly Girling, Director of Research and Policy at Evidence for Democracy. “This funding fulfills an important outstanding recommendation from the Fundamental Science Review Panel and will enable the next generation of scientists to make discoveries that will strengthen our health, environment and economy.”

Budget 2019 also provides several new investments and opportunities to make post-secondary education more accessible to all Canadians. This includes several new investments in Indigenous post-secondary education, adjustments to the Canada Student Loans program to make financial aid more accessible, and $37.4 million over five years ($8.6M/year ongoing), to the granting councils, to expand parental leave for graduate students receiving federal funding.  

“Investments like these are important to ensure that all Canadians, including vulnerable or marginalized groups, have access to post-secondary and graduate programs”, said Dr. Katie Gibbs, Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy. “This will contribute to building a strong and diverse workforce of tomorrow.”

Budget 2019 invests “$84 million over five years to build knowledge of climate change impacts and to enhance the climate resiliency of northern communities by improving the design and construction of northern infrastructure”. While these investments are exciting, and there are several new commitments to addressing impacts of climate change,  it is unclear whether this funding will directly support atmospheric climate science research, like the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL).

While a number of third-party research organizations received funding in Budget 2019, including $18 million for the Stem Cell Network, and $100.5 million for Genome Canada, the budget also announced future changes to how third-party research organizations are funded. Starting in 2022, there will be a new Strategic Science Fund that will use a principle-based framework to allocate federal funding in a competitive process. This positive change should increases the transparency and accountability for how these research funding decisions are made.

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For more information, contact:

Katie Gibbs, Executive Director

E. katie@evidencefordemocracy.ca

C. 613-866-6921

 

Katie Gibbs

Directrice générale

Katie Gibbs est une scientifique, organisatrice et défenseuse de la science et des politiques fondées sur des preuves scientifiques. Alors qu'elle complétait à l'Université d'Ottawa un doctorat portant sur les menaces visant les espèces en voie de disparition, elle a été une des principales organisatrices du rassemblement dénonçant la mort de la preuve scientifique (Death of Evidence) — l’un des plus grands rassemblements du genre dans l’histoire canadienne. Katie a co-fondé Savoir et Démocratie et y occupe maintenant le poste de directrice générale. Elle possède une expérience variée dans l’organisation et la gestion de campagnes sociales et politiques aux niveaux local et national. Katie est régulièrement invitée à commenter des enjeux de politiques publiques scientifiques. Elle a publié et a été citée dans de nombreux médias, y compris la CBC, The Hill Times, The Globe and Mail et le National Post.