News Release: The CCR Comments on Federal Budget 2007

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2007

OTTAWA—The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) has consistently advocated three priorities: a dedicated transfer for post-secondary education; increased financial support for the granting councils and related agencies; and re-investing in government science.

➢ The CCR notes the budget’s initial $800M allotment to post-secondary education (PSE) as part of the Canada Social Transfer. This is an encouraging first step and the CCR looks forward to seeing the implementation of accountability mechanisms that will ensure the provinces spend these funds in the university and college sectors, as well as a return to transfer levels consistent with those prior to the decline in funding of the mid-90’s.

➢ The CCR acknowledges, with appreciation, an $85M increase to the granting councils: NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC. We note that SSHRC’s and NSERC’s entire increase is targeted to specific Government priorities. We are hopeful that this will not become a model for future years as funding for broad-based basic research is critical to maintaining Canada’s competitive edge. We are pleased with the continuation of the Canada Foundation for Innovation program and the allocation of $510M for another major competition. The CCR remains hopeful that a positive outcome of the review of the funding programs will ensure that this new CFI competition does not create further stress on the granting councils operating grants.

➢ The support of an additional 1,000 students through the Canada Graduate Scholarships is positive. What is surprising is that the Government has chosen to allocate these spaces in an inverse relationship to the priorities established by Canadian students through enrolment choices (e.g. 55% are enrolled in social sciences and humanities but only 20% of the scholarships were allocated in these disciplines).

➢ The CCR believes that the Government must also re-invest in its own research infrastructure—research that underpins and supports regulatory decisions and is at the forefront of science policy interface. The CCR anticipates that the Government will use its initiatives on the environment and climate change to re-invest in its internal research programs.

The CCR looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government to further establish a well-balanced research program in Canada.

The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) was established in 1976. It consists of 16 organizations 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 500,000 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.


For more information:
Roland Andersson, Chair
Canadian Consortium for Research