Contributed to Globe and Mail by Ed McCauley (Published December 27, 2023)
Ed McCauley is the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary.
From energy to health care, Canada relies on research done on university campuses to foster the innovation that drives the economy. Yet the last two federal budgets contained no new financial support for research, while much of the funding already promised is expiring, with inflation eroding the rest. It’s a far cry from the support given to the scientific community two decades ago – and it needs to change.
The current federal government has long voiced support for science and professes to understand its value in helping to tackle our biggest challenges. While the investments it made early on in its mandate helped researchers protect Canadians during the difficult days of the pandemic, they have fallen well down its list of priorities since. According to Statistics Canada, federal spending on university science and research has already declined by 19 per cent in real terms since 2020 – a drop from $4.16-billion to $3.56-billion….