FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7th, 2013
CONSERVATIVES UNDERMINE CANADA’S SCIENTIFIC AND INNOVATION CAPACITY
OTTAWA – New Democrats slammed Conservative changes to the National Research Council as narrow-minded and short-sighted. The changes will see the NRC focused more on immediate commercial science and lose the once-proud institute’s capacity in long-term scientific and innovation research.
“Conservative incompetence meets Conservative narrow-mindedness,” said NDP Science and Technology critic Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby–Douglas). “They don’t want research driven by researchers themselves or public funding for science going towards actual scientific advancement. Their short-sighted approach will in fact hurt economic growth in the long run because it shuts the door on the long-view fundamental research that truly leads to scientific breakthroughs.”
Widespread dissatisfaction among the over 4,000 NRC employees and the change of focus away from basic research, patents and publications will increase the drain of Canada’s best and brightest minds to other OECD countries that are investing in scientific research heavily. Under the Conservatives, Canada just can’t compete.
“The government has been handing pink slips to scores of NRC scientists and researchers, lowering the organization’s research capacity and devastating internal morale,” said Stewart. “It is hard to see how business will get scientific advice from the NRC if they fire all the scientists. Who they keep will spend their time trying to get off this runaway train.”
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