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Opinion

Budget 2018: a litmus test for the future of Canadian research

By David Naylor, Jeremy T. Kerr, Julia K. Baum      

Restoring Canada’s international prominence in research will take several years of steadily increasing investment, ongoing improvements in governance, and steadfast leadership by the Government of Canada. But the rebuilding process must start now with the 2018 budget. The success of Canada’s young researchers—vital to our country’s future prosperity—depends upon it.

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan pictured in a recent Hill scrum. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Canada needs research and the people who practise it. From 2006 to 2015, however, federal government erosion of support for independent research nearly hamstrung the community’s capacity to meet these needs. Research grants faded away. As Canada tries to build a knowledge-based economy, the demand for bright, creative minds with cutting-edge skills is growing rapidly. At the same time, early career researchers who have spent years honing those skills increasingly find that the only way for them to pursue their dreams is to take their ideas elsewhere.

Feds strike working groups to tackle delayed MMIWG action plan

Groups say they're pleased to see Ottawa picking up the pace, while the Ontario Native Women’s Association says its exclusion 'makes zero sense' and means some women will fall through the cracks in the conversation.

Co-managed approach, self-governing fisheries the answer to long-simmering lobster dispute, says Senator

The Conservative, NDP, and Green Party critics all say the federal government has failed to act to address tensions.

New Senate art display is the first ever to feature Black artists

Manitoba Senator Patricia Bovey is pushing to see more diversity represented in the art hanging throughout the building the Upper Chamber calls home, calling the new display the ‘first iteration’ of those efforts.

Senate committee approves $460,000 budget for 11-member progressive group

The powerful Internal Economy Committee also agreed to move some procurement discussions from behind closed doors in a bid to be more transparent about its contracts.

Feds trumpet uncertain WTO reform to protect Canada from trade whims of superpowers

News|By Neil Moss
The efforts of the Ottawa Group were part of just a select few foreign policy priorities mentioned during the Throne Speech, ahead of a 'disappointing' move by the U.S. to appeal a WTO softwood lumber ruling.

Canada’s pandemic spending ‘barely sustainable,’ says PBO, projecting $328.5-billion deficit

News|By Palak Mangat
New PBO figures do not capture the possibility of any new government programs, and work off the assumption that there will be a 'gradual' relaxing of public health restrictions within the next 12 to 18 months.

‘Words alone will not be enough’: Black caucus, community cautiously optimistic about feds’ Throne Speech pledges

News|By Beatrice Paez
Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard says she had hoped the speech would have made specific references to the development of a Black-Canadian justice strategy.

‘It’s much lonelier’: MPs talk about doing politics in the age of the pandemic

News|By Abbas Rana
MPs from all parties are also watching the provincial election in British Columbia carefully to learn how to run a campaign in the midst of a pandemic.

Committee should study proposed changes to election rules to prepare for future vote, say MPs

News|By Palak Mangat
'What better time to innovate your election system than during a pandemic? Because you're going to have to start thinking outside of the regular way,' says Stéphanie Plante, who has worked with Elections Canada.
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