Due to a number of actions from the ruling Conservative government, science funding in Canada is in a woeful state. This includes efforts to monitor and research issues related to the environment. Total public funding for science and technology has dropped by 12 per cent in the past four years, according to a recent Statistics Canada report. Of even more concern is where federal money is being allocated. Almost all of the $454-million in new research and development funding announced by the federal government for 2013, went public-private partnerships, largely for commercialization.
The federal government’s funding largely eschews basic research which is so vital not only to developing profitable new innovations but for the wider aim of our collective betterment. Scientific research is also indispensable to informed government policy.
As explained by scientist Dr. David Suzuki, “There is a systematic attack on science and democracy taking place in Canada, and the Harper government isn’t even trying to hide it. But scientists cannot and will not be silenced, not when we are facing an irreversible climate catastrophe like the tar sands.”
On September 16th, 2013, “Stand Up for Science” rallies were held in 14 cities across Canada. These protests called on the federal government to better support science done in the public interest.
Canadians need to be informed of the importance of federally funded scientific research that among other things, monitors the state of the environment and provides solutions.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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