Budget 2023 a missed opportunity to keep Canada competitive in science and research

March 28, 2023
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Parliament Buildings in Ottawa

OTTAWA—Today’s federal Budget failed to deliver the much-needed investments in Canada’s research ecosystem that are required to support the people and ideas Canada needs to ensure an inclusive and prosperous future and build the clean economy of tomorrow.  

 The federal government’s own Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System recommended significant funding increases to the research granting councils and graduate scholarships. Canada’s universities are disappointed to see the government fail to deliver these necessary reinvestments in Budget 2023. 

The health of Canada’s research ecosystem is central to fostering innovation and developing talent—two critical elements Canada needs to ensure its long-term prosperity. As Canada’s funding for discovery-oriented research is declining, our peers are delivering ambitious new investments in research funding, including a commitment in the United States of over $200 billion USD through the CHIPS and Sciences Act. Without similar action, Canada will fall behind and lose out on top talent. 

A comprehensive and coordinated commitment to research funding is required to ensure Canada remains competitive with our international peers.  This must include investments in fundamental research through Canada’s granting councils, long-overdue assistance to graduate students through scholarships, and the promised expansion of the Canada Research Chairs program. 

“Canada’s universities are disappointed in Budget 2023’s lack of any significant support for Canadian research,” says Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada. “With no new funding that matches the ambition of our peers, today’s budget is without the investments across Canada’s research ecosystem which are urgently needed to keep Canada competitive and ensure inclusive and sustainable growth.” 

Without a renewed effort from government to support fundamental, discovery-oriented research, Canada risks falling behind on rapidly evolving science and innovation which is essential to Canadian prosperity. As noted in the Report of the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Ecosystem, “Societies that invest in their research enterprise thrive, while those that do not falter.”  

Over the coming months, Canada’s universities hope to see the federal government set out a comprehensive vision to keep Canada competitive on the global stage. 

Without such a vision, Canada—and all Canadians—will lose out on discoveries and advancements which create vital opportunities for Canada.

About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

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