OTTAWA, October 24, 2019 — In the recent federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada won a second mandate, claiming 157 seats for a strong minority parliament. The Conservative Party claimed 121 seats, the Bloc Québécois took 32 seats, the NDP won 24, and the Green Party claimed three seats.
“We congratulate the government on its second mandate and look forward to working with new and returning Members of Parliament to advance a strong and vibrant science agenda and culture for Canada,” said Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Chair of the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR).
In its previous mandate, the government made significant strides in improving Canada’s position as a world-leader in fundamental research for the natural, health and social sciences by commissioning the Fundamental Science Review (FSR) under Dr. David Naylor; making record new investments for fundamental science and research infrastructure in Budget 2018; and providing a means for high level scientific expertise to interact with the Government, through the creation of the Chief Science Advisor and subsequent appointment of Dr. Mona Nemer to it.
The FSR panel’s final report included 34 recommendations that covered the following areas: improved governance and coordination; improved prospects for the next generation of researchers; restoration of core funding for independent research grants; new investments to attract and/or retain top-flight established researchers; and phased investments to strengthen the overall research environment and stabilize Canada’s Big Science facilities. Thus far, some key recommendations have been addressed only in part.
“As outlined in the Fundamental Science Report, there are numerous steps still to be made in terms of investments in fundamental science, tangible commitments by both government and business to fostering research and development, and training the next generation of researchers,” said Dr. Votta-Bleeker. “The CCR looks forward to continuing our work with the government and all parliamentarians to capitalize on the important steps made – and still to be made – to position Canada as a leader in advancing knowledge and innovation, and a country that cultivates a strong science culture, domestically and internationally.”