News Release: The CCR comments on federal budget 2003

(Ottawa) – The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) welcomes the 2003 federal budget as a serious investment in Canada’s future well-being and prosperity. As a coalition of both public and private sector research groups, the CCR is particularly pleased with specific funding announcements in the post-secondary education and research sector.
The creation of the Canada Graduate Scholarships shows a commitment from the federal government to preparing the next generation of scholars and other highly-qualified personnel for the role they will play in advancing Canada’s prosperity. The move towards making the funding of indirect costs permanent is also an significant step and will partially address the chronic under-funding of Canada’s universities. The increase to the base budgets of the granting councils is a further critical element in ensuring Canada’s research community is a world leader. Additionally, increased funding for the National Research Council, the Canada
Foundation for Innovation, and the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences are important investments.
In the broader perspective, the Consortium takes a positive view of the planned split of the CHST to a CHT and CST. We view this as an opportunity for the federal government to strengthen its partnerships with the provinces in support of post-secondary education. A logical progression in the trend towards greater accountability and transparency in government spending would be a further split of the CST into a specific transfer for post-secondary education and a social transfer. The creation of such a dedicated post-education transfer, together with the restoration of Federal post-secondary education funding to the levels of the early 1990’s, would begin to address the chronic core funding needs of Canada’s universities.
Another essential element in the broader research picture that still needs to be addressed is the under-funding of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council relative to the other granting councils. While the 10% across-the-board increase to the councils begins to address the pressing demand, the $15 million for SSHRC versus the $55 million increase for NSERC and CIHR does not represent the relative population of Canadian researchers.
The CCR looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government to further establish a well-balanced research support program in Canada. The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) was established in 1976. It consists of the 22 organizations listed below that represent researchers in all disciplines across Canada. While the majority of these researchers are based in universities, the constituent organizations have numerous members in government laboratories and in private sector research centres. With approximately 50,000 researchers and 400,000 students represented in these member groups, the CCR is the largest organization in Canada whose primary concerns are the funding of research in all sectors and support for post-secondary education.
– 30 –
For more information:
Paul Ledwell, Chair
(613) 238-6112, ext. 307