(Ottawa – May 26, 2021) Today’s vote by Parliamentarians to create a new standing committee on science and research is a positive move to help ensure a robust, sustainable Canadian research system, according to the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
“Passage of Motion 38 affirms Parliamentarians’ commitment to science, research and evidence-informed decision-making,” says CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith. “The lack of a dedicated mechanism and oversight for science and research has stymied our nation’s collective economic progress, yet science and research are critical in the ongoing fight against the pandemic, and for a just recovery. CAUT hopes this committee will be a catalyst for improvement.”
M-38 was a private member’s motion initiated by MP Kirsty Duncan, who was Canada’s Minister of Science leading up to the federal government’s historic investments to science in Budget 2018. CAUT acknowledges those critical investments, but notes that gaps exist.
“There remains a shortfall of approximately 40 per cent to reach the levels recommended by the report of the Fundamental Science Review Panel. Additionally, support for early career researchers still falls significantly short, at only 22 per cent of the levels recommended by the same report,” says Austin-Smith. “We hope that fundamental science and research is one topic of important study for the new committee once M-38 is passed, and that this government begins closing the funding gap between what was recommended by the Panel and what was delivered.”