OTTAWA, April 8, 2022 – Federal Budget 2022, A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable, is a focused and strategic budget targeted in the support it provides to specific sectors and policy areas. While not a budget that emphasizes research, it does invest in some critical areas of health research and takes some important steps towards creating a better investment environment for health and biosciences companies.
“While Research Canada was pleased with Budget 2022’s investment of $20 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support additional research on the long-term effects of COVID-19 infections on Canadians and to ramp up efforts to learn more about dementia and brain health, the challenge remains the dearth of any new funding in fundamental science, without which we cannot innovate and grow our economy,” says Dr. Rose Goldstein, Chair of Research Canada and Professor of Medicine at McGill University. “Without fundamental science, we cannot lead globally and ultimately will be left behind.”
Research Canada applauds the Government of Canada’s support for the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, established in 2015 by Baycrest Health Sciences, providing $30 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to the Public Health Agency of Canada for the Centre to help accelerate innovations in brain health and aging.
“Ensuring and advancing inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in health research and innovation is non-negotiable, and we were thrilled to see the Government sharing this commitment with Budget 2022’s investment of $40.9 million over five years, starting in 2022-23 to the federal granting councils to support targeted scholarships and fellowships for promising Black student researchers,” says Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada.
Research Canada was also encouraged to see the Government’s commitment to move forward on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, which included investments to improve health outcomes and support distinctions-based mental health and wellness for Indigenous communities. “We are encouraged by Budget 2022’s investments totalling $275 million to address the shameful legacy of residential schools,” says Ms. Gordon-El-Bihbety, “as well as those investments aimed at advancing self-determination and prosperity through the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and the proposed legislative changes to support self-determination.”
Research Canada was also encouraged by Budget 2022’s commitment of $750 million over six years, starting in 2022-23, to support the further growth and development of Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters, as well as its investment of $159.6 million to implement the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships, developed in collaboration with the Government of Canada-Universities Working Group in 2021.
“Though details are scarce, the Government’s announcement in Budget 2022 of the creation of a Canadian Innovation and Investment Agency acknowledges the need to stimulate private sector investment in research, development and the uptake of new technologies,” says Dr. Ryan Wiley, Policy Advisor to Research Canada’s Board of Directors and President of Shift Health. “If we want to realize the economic potential of Canadian innovations, create jobs and compete globally for R&D investment, we need market-oriented strategies to strengthen public-private partnerships and accelerate growth of an R&D-intensive health sector.”
Research Canada also welcomes the proposed review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program, which provides tax incentives to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct R&D.
Research Canada looks forward to continuing our work with the Government of Canada to advance Canadian health research and innovation and to ensure that these and future investments support a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to policy that considers the critical role of all sectors in protecting the health and well-being of Canadians.
About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit rc-rc.ca.
Ms. Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs