CCR Budget Response, February 2014

News Release:

Budget 2014 introduces new funding for research, but more needs to be done.

For immediate release: February 12, 2014 –

OTTAWA— The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) welcomes research funding in Budget 2014, some of which support CCR’s key recommendations. The CCR recommended increased investments in basic research, support for students through graduate scholarships and internships, and support for Canada’s knowledge infrastructure.

“We are pleased to see some support for our recommendations in Budget 2014. However, this money is really just the bare minimum required to maintain existing funding for the granting councils and TRIUMF,” says Canadian Consortium for Research Chair, Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker.

The $46 million per annum to support advanced research, scientific discoveries, and indirect costs maintains current granting council base funding when adjusted for inflation. “Positively, the new funds for NSERC and SSHRC can be put toward discovery-based research in contrast to the past two federal budgets,” says Dr. Votta-Bleeker.

This budget introduces a Canada First Research Excellence Fund that promises over $1 billion in funding over the next decade. The CCR expects this program will provide research support to all post-secondary institutions and researchers across Canada, and awaits further details.

Budget 2014 includes support for full-time internships for post-secondary education graduates in high-demand fields. While the CCR is pleased to see some investment in internships, it is insufficient to meet current student needs. The Budget does not include any new funding to address the shortfall in Canada’s graduate scholarships nor does it contain any new financial assistance to address student debt.

The CCR is disappointed that its recommendation to support knowledge infrastructure for Statistics Canada and Library Archives Canada was not addressed in Budget 2014. These key institutions must be strengthened as the federal government returns to fiscal balance next year.

Budget 2014 announces funds for TRIUMF, Quantum Computing and the Open Data Institute. The CCR welcomes these funds, but these are insufficient to maintain current levels of operation for TRIUMF when accounting for inflation. As a minimum, all of Canada’s research institutes and laboratories require stable inflation-adjusted funds to continue. New investment is required for program growth and to remain competitive internationally.

The CCR is the largest advocacy coalition in Canada, focusing on research funding in all disciplines and support for post-secondary education. CCR includes 19 organizations that represent more than 50,000 researchers and 500,000 students across disciplines.

For more information:
Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker
Chair, Canadian Consortium for Research or 613-237-2144 ext. 323