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Ottawa takes step in the right direction to support basic research, access to PSE

Today’s federal budget provided a long overdue boost to Canada’s knowledge infrastructure, says the organization representing the country’s university and college academic staff.

“The Liberal government’s first budget is a welcome first step,” said David Robinson, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. “There is a long way to go to make up for lost ground, but we’re pleased to see that we are moving in the right direction again.”

The budget announced $95 million per year, starting in 2016-17, in new funding for Canada’s research granting councils. Together with the funding promised last year, total support for the granting councils will increase by $141 million per year. 

Also included in the budget was $2 billion over three years to help finance infrastructure projects to enhance and modernize research facilities, and reduce the carbon emissions of post-secondary institutions.

Robinson said that CAUT was pleased that the budget also unveiled increased support for grants for post-secondary students from low- and middle-income families. However, he noted that no new resources were provided to support Aboriginal students to access post-secondary education.

“There are some big holes in the budget, and we’ll need to address those gaps in the near future,” says Robinson. “For now, the next step signaled by the government will be to develop a new innovation strategy. It is essential that in doing so the government consult and work closely with the academic research community.”

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of 68,000 academic and general staff at more than 120 universities and colleges in the country.

Read CAUT's analysis of the Budget here

Media contact

Angela Regnier, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-601-6304 (cell); (email)