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Minister Goodyear’s response to the “Nature” stories

April 15, 2009

From tomorrow’s issue of Nature.

Canadian government reaffirms support for science and discovery
Gary Goodyear

Sir,

You report researchers’ concerns about the Canadian government’s support for science in two recent News stories (Nature 457, 646; 2009 and Nature 458, 393; 2009). As Minister of State for Science and Technology, I can say that, despite the global economic situation, the government of Canada remains committed to innovation and discovery. We have increased funding to researchers, both in universities and in the private sector.

In the past three years, for example, we have significantly increased the budgets of federal granting councils, increased scholarships through the Canada Graduate Scholarships Program, and increased the Industrial Research Assistance Program for small and medium-sized businesses. The Budget 2009 announcements include Can$750 million (US$590 million) for the Canada Foundation for Innovation to attract and retain world-leading researchers, and a Can$2-billion infrastructure programme. The government has also put in place two five-year funding agreements with Genome Canada that are worth Can$240 million, to support large-scale, world-class research.

Your readers should therefore rest assured that the government of Canada will continue to fund research for the benefit of all scientists and Canadians.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Yves Gingras permalink
    April 16, 2009 20:34

    This letter of the Minister — or better of his communication “expert”– exemplifies the typical strategy of liying by omission. The Minister says “In the past three years” the government increased research budgets but forget to add that he NOW cuts the FUTURE budgets of Funding agencies and governemtn laboratoires by more than 160 millions. This mix of annoucements of “investments” at the same time as cuts are being implemented is well designed to create confusion among the population. But at the end of the day the result will be clear to all: the conservative governemnt does not believe in scientific research but only in short terms results. No surprise that the Minsiter himself is not able to distinguish between results of the scientific method (like evolution) and religious opinions…

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