WUFA attends CAUT's 2017 Parliament Hill Day

Photo above (from left to right): Jeff Noonan, Tracey Ramsey, and Debbie Noble 

November 24, 2017

On Thursday November 23, 2017, WUFA President, Dr. Jeff Noonan, and WUFA Administrative Officer, Ms. Debbie Noble, attended CAUT's 2017 Parliament Hill Day.

Jeff and Debbie met with Ms. Tracey Ramsey, NDP Essex, to talk about the upcoming copyright act review and ‘get science right ‘ funding for fundamental science.

Get Science Right (taken from the CAUT briefing note)

For a decade, the granting councils, which fund the vast majority of fundamental research undertaken in our country, have seen a steady erosion of their base budgets, and less funding for basic research. 

The federal government commissioned a full review of the research ecosystem. The Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science produced a comprehensive analysis of the erosion of Canada’s capacity for basic research and our declining global competitiveness.

The report, released in April 2017, lays out a clear road to restore our capacity to generate the knowledge and the ideas we need to tackle the challenges we face. 

The Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science recommended increasing the three granting councils’ base funding by $1.308 billion over four years, with the majority of funds (87%) frontloaded in the first three years. It also made recommendations to improve governance, coordination and oversight. Whereas the government has taken steps to implement some of the governance recommendations it has not promised to act on the main recommendation to increase funding for investigator-led research.

Key Messages

  • Basic research fuels advances, discoveries, breakthroughs, insights and our understanding of the world.  It leads to the facts and evidence that shape our future.
  • Underfunding basic research limits innovation, slows job growth and hampers Canada’s ability to attract and retain researchers.
  • Stronger investments in fundamental science will lead to real advances in knowledge and contribute to a better quality of life for all.
  • CAUT applauded the increase of $76 million for Canada’s granting councils in the 2016 budget
  • A stronger federal partner is needed to repair the foundations of Canadian science.
  • CAUT supports the Advisory Panel’s main recommendation to increase Canada's investment in independent research by $1.3 billion, with better balanced allocation across the three research granting agencies
  • It’s time to get science right.