At the University of Calgary, neurobiologist Samuel Weiss, who last year won a prestigious Gairdner Award for discovering the brain’s ability to make new cells, was struggling to understand why the budget offered no new money for research operating grants at Canada’s three federal funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the National Science and Engineering Research Council. The federal budget suggests these key granting agencies are to find $87.2-million in savings over the next three years.
‘The tri-council funding is the bedrock in advances in health and innovation,’ said Dr. Weiss, whose own work, now being tested in patients with spinal cord injuries, began in mice.
The government has invested in buildings and training bright people, he said, but ‘without operating money what are they going to do?'”
In a profligate budget filled with new spending, the cupboards are bare for scientific research, the Globe and Mail reports.
Addendum: The priority on construction (to the neglect of research funding) makes even less sense when you consider Stephen Gordon’s evidence that there is very little slack in the Canadian construction sector.