The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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

Canada Budget Reax Update

Genome Canada is causing quite a stir this morning, picked up by ScienceInsider this afternoon.  That, plus more budget reaction from a Research Canada press release and a thumbs-down from the CVCA below…

The CBC story on Genome Canada funding has some reaction from Tony Clement:

Minister of Industry Tony Clement, speaking to CBC Newsworld on Thursday morning, disputed that funding had been cut, saying Genome Canada was in the third year of a five-year budget rollout.

“It would not be surprising that they would not get an extra amount in this budget because that was taken care of in the last two budgets,” Clement told CBC News.

So what is the status?

Godbout said that while money from last year’s budget was allocated over the next four years to fund ongoing projects, there no indication that they would receive nothing this year for new initiatives.

He pointed to a project to sequence the genomes of 50 different types of cancer, led by Ontario Institute of Cancer Research scientific director Tom Hudson, as one project that would be $25 million short of funding without further federal support.

Also, in an update to yesterday’s post, Research Canada put out a press release reacting to the budget (pdf) that mirrors AMFC’s statement yesterday:

An Alliance for Health Discovery is pleased with a number of measures in the Federal Government’s 2009 Budget, including the more than $1.5 Billion investment in science and technology. Research Canada applauds the government’s further investment of $750 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in support of research infrastructure. Canada will continue to make important strides in building world-class research facilities which create short- and medium-term jobs for Canadians into the future. Research Canada is also pleased with the temporary expansion of the Canada Graduate Scholarship Program ($87.5 million).

The lack of new investment in the nation’s research and innovation engine, however, is concerning; notably the absence of additional base funding for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the other granting councils and Genome Canada. 

Still no public statements from BIOTECanada, Rx&D, HCCC or MEDEC

Update to the update: The CVCA expressed its disappointment on Tuesday (pdf), in case you missed it.

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5 responses to “Canada Budget Reax Update

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