(OTTAWA– 20 September 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has issued a challenge today to the four NDP Leadership candidates to Get Science Right, pledge to invest in basic research and join the campaign to call on the government to restore science’s important role in creating a prosperous and innovative country.
The government of Canada has failed to keep pace with other countries in supporting the pursuit of knowledge. Scholars, scientists and students wishing to pursue independent research have seen a decline of available resources of about 35 per cent. Canada is no longer in the top 30 nations worldwide when it comes to total research intensity.
Canada must and can do better. With increased federal funding, researchers will be able to ask bold questions and seek the knowledge we need to enhance the quality of life for all Canadians. The federal government must catch up to the rest of the world by boosting its investments to grow our knowledge and talent advantages.
There is a path forward. The Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science has recommended a federal increase in investment in independent research of $1.3 billion for basic research, with better balanced allocation across the three research granting agencies.
CAUT is calling on Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Guy Caron and Jagmeet Singh to step up and join the Get Science Right campaign. Canadians know too well what a decade of underfunding and muzzling scientists can do. With a strong federal partner, academic researchers can create the knowledge we need to improve the quality of life for all Canadians and help face local and global challenges. We hope NDP Leadership candidates agree.
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
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