OTTAWA, March 12, 2019 — The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance will unveil the 2019 federal budget on March 19, 2019. Following the Fall Economic Statement 2018, announced by Minister Morneau last November, Research Canada hopes to see next week’s Budget build on the historic investments made in the 2018 federal budget to strengthen the government’s commitment to a robust Canadian research system and highly skilled workforce.
Last summer, Research Canada made a formal submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) pre-budget consultations. In this submission, Research Canada made five recommendations, which include boosted investments in Canada’s trainees and post-doctoral students, accelerated investment in investigator-led research, corresponding investment in the indirect costs of research, and support for Indigenous-informed health research and Canada’s health and biosciences sector. Over the past several months, Research Canada has met with key decision makers in government to make the case for these recommendations, including Dr. Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor; the Office of the Minster of Health; and the Office of the Minister of Science and Sport.
For Canada to move forward into an innovation economy, we must invest in and support our doctoral students, post-doctoral trainees and fellows. A recent national survey by Science & Policy Exchange found that direct funding through scholarships and fellowships afford a number of benefits to students and post-doctoral trainees that help them to succeed and develop the skills that are necessary to advance Canadian research and innovation. However, there are a number of barriers and challenges associated with the current federal scholarship and fellowship system, and these barriers are often felt more strongly among women.
“Young female scientists perceive more benefits from direct support than their male counterparts,” says Dr. Tina Gruosso, Co-President of Science & Policy Exchange. “Thus, by providing direct support for Canada’s young researchers, the federal government can showcase their commitment to supporting equity, diversity and inclusion.” To ensure the success of this future generation of researchers, Research Canada has encouraged the Government of Canada, through its lobbying efforts with key policy-makers and its formal submission to FINA, to invest in Canada’s future through an additional $140 million to harmonize, upgrade and bring strategic focus to the direct federal awards system.
Research Canada looks forward to the unveiling of the 2019 federal budget next week and hopes that the Government of Canada will once again show its commitment to supporting Canada’s research system. As a National Alliance, Research Canada will continue to work with our National Partners in the health research and health innovation community to advocate for renewed and continued investment in Canada’s research system.
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.
– 30 –
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs