Canada needs better science statistics

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Science Critic Kennedy Stewart tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the government to begin measuring and reporting Canada's annual investments in basic scientific research.

"The new Minister of Science has said that investing in fundamental research is one of the Liberal's top priorities – but Canada is one of the few OECD countries that doesn't even track this vital statistic," said Dr. Stewart, an Associate Professor on leave from Simon Fraser University's School of Public Policy.

Statistics Canada currently reports each year on Canada's investments in science and technology. Unlike most OECD countries, these figures fail to include a breakdown of funding for basic vs. applied research.

"One of the hallmarks of Harper's 'War on Science' was to gut funding for basic science and shift it to industry-led research," continued Stewart. "Canada needs more investments if we are going to truly turn the page on the Harper era, and measuring our spending on basic research will allow us to set a baseline to track our progress."

A copy of MP Stewart's motion is below.

– 30 –

M-19 — December 8, 2015 — Mr. Stewart (Burnaby South) — That, in the opinion of the House, Statistics Canada should begin measuring and reporting Canada's annual investments in basic scientific research in accordance with OECD guidelines and participate in international comparative studies of this measure as a percentage of GDP.