The 2016 federal budget provided a long overdue boost to Canada’s knowledge infrastructure.
“The Liberal government’s first budget is a welcome step,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “There is a long way to go to make up for lost ground, but we’re pleased to see that we are moving in the right direction again.”
The budget announced $95 million per year, starting in 2016–2017, in new funding for Canada’s research granting councils. The new funding includes $30 million for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, $30 million for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, $16 million for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and $19 million for the Research Support Fund to cover the indirect costs of research. Together with already announced new funding, total support for the granting councils will increase by $141 million per year.
Also included in the budget was $2 billion over three years to help finance infrastructure projects to enhance and modernize research facilities, and reduce the carbon emissions of post-secondary institutions.
“There are some big holes in the budget, and we’ll need to address those gaps in the near future,” Robinson said. “For now, the next step signaled by the government will be to develop a new innovation strategy. It is essential that in doing so the government consult and work closely with the academic research community.”