The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: Minister of Industry

The Cross-Border Biotech Blog at BIO 2009

BIO 2009I have arrived in Atlanta for BIO 2009! Stay tuned for updates on Ontario, Canadian and international developments.

Tonight’s developments: the Canada reception was at Dailey’s, in the cigar bar, and was very smoky. Canada’s Minister of Industry, Tony Clement spoke, but no-one I met heard a word he said (bad sound system). I’m sure we’ll hear more from him over the next couple of days, but if anyone in his office is reading this, I would love a transcript.

Bookmark and Share

Canadian Science Funding Update — Open Letter From Canadian Scientists Generates Equal, Opposite Open Letter from Gary Goodyear

Canadian scientists, dismayed by cuts of $113 million to the three primary granting agencies in this year’s federal budget, sent an open letter of protest to PM Harper last week that collected 2,000 signatures.

The response, from Minister of Industry Tony Clement, was certainly better pitched than the response at budget time from the government’s initial spokes-o-practor, Gary Goodyear.   Mr. Goodyear also responded to the protest letter — penning a letter to Nature — and succeeded in not igniting any additional controversy.

I have three points in reaction to the budget and the protest letter:

  1. The federal government clearly chose an investment in infrastructure and training at the expense of basic research, but is clearly embarrassed to say so in light of peer country decisions.  The U.S. has prominently featured major increases in research funding, and the UK has pledged not to let science be a victim of the economy (though we will see Wednesday if they put their money, or their foot, where PM Brown’s mouth is).
  2. The Ontario government has done significant work to close the gap in research funding and infrastructure matching funds left by the federal budget
  3. We are starting to see local impacts of the funding decisions generate pressure on individual MPs.  For example, the federal minister of public works, Christian Paradis, was “angry” and said he will do everything he can to ensure that the famous Mont Mégantic Observatory, which is in his riding of Mégantic-L’Érable east of Montreal, receives funding to remain open.  The NSERC, which decided to drop the observatory’s funding, has cut a number of projects to cope with a $70-million drop in its budget.

Bookmark and Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 130 other followers