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S&T Minister: Liberals also cut in the 1990’s

April 30, 2009

“… they cut science and technology by $442 million, which in today’s dollars is about $1 billion of cuts to science and technology.”

This is true, though not sure about the numbers. Some of us remember a wave of protests (with Polanyi again in the lead) though not comparable to what’s happening now. In my opinion, the main differences between the two exercises are:

  • The Liberals did it in a context of a budget balancing exercise, while the Conservatives announced their cuts in the middle of a major spending spree in a stimulus budget.
  • The dreaded expectation that worse cuts might be coming when deficit reducing budgets will be in order.
  • The ideological aspects of certain decisions (basic vs. targeted research, SSHRC scholarships earmarked for business, CFI vs. Tri-Council in the excellence dept).
  • The timing … which contributed to showcasing our government’s punitive approach with Obama’s big vision, and to alarming the Canadian research community.
  • … and yes the underwhelming communication strategy of our government (not to mention the role of university presidents) who should have seen this perfect storm coming.
One Comment leave one →
  1. April 30, 2009 08:21

    great analysis!

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