Where was Minister Goodyear?
As a side note to the CFI funding story, does anyone else wonder why Minister of Science, etc. Gary Goodyear was absent from the CFI announcement and press release? Minister Goodyear was conspicuous by his absence, with the uber-competent and reliable Minister of Industry Tony Clement making the announcement. Mr. Goodyear has been omnipresent at science funding announcements for the last year – even popping up for Knowledge Infrastructure Program announcements, despite the fact that the program is administered by another ministry. He’s shown up to announce scholarship winners, and the winners of NSERC’s basic Discovery grants. But for the the biggest science-related funding announcement this year? Nowhere to be found. The CFI funding is undeniably a good-news story for Canadian science, and would seem to be a major opportunity to rehab his reputation, yet Mr. Goodyear was absent and unmentioned. Instead, he was appearing, a couple of days earlier in small-town Ontario, to announce federal funding to modernize “the Preston Auditorium and the Public Works Building” in Cambridge (like me, you might have missed the story…). I can’t say for certain that research isn’t occurring at the Preston Auditorium or the Public Works Building, but it seems odd for the science minister to make the announcement. Certainly, the Cambridge announcement is a long way down the scale, especially when compared to the announcement of $665-million for cutting-edge science.
Is this a signal that the Prime Minister has tired of Minister Goodyear and the constant bungling of the portfolio? Did the Prime Minister not want to taint the CFI announcement by associating it with a polarizing and controversial minister? Or is the PM just keeping the minister out of the spotlight until the SSHRC funding flap blows over? I don’t know, but I’m wondering.