A mixed message it is
Peter Calamai has it right in the Star, when he writes: “More than 2,000 researchers have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressing concern over the discrepancy between the high priority given science by the Obama administration and the mixed message of the recent Canadian federal budget.”
The message from the budget was indeed mixed since it announces a 5% cut to the operating funds for research (the Tri-council) in conjunction with a huge investment in the infrastructure of post-secondary institutions. What exacerbates the negative impact on the research community is the confusion as to where this duality is coming from. Does it originate from an ideological position of the current government or is it due to a very unfortunate convergence of two unrelated policy-making processes (The earlier re-evaluation of all government departments vs. the dynamics of hastily putting together a stimulus budget). Announced together, yet totally out of phase.