Montréal, March 22, 2016 – The Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université (FQPPU) approves of Minister Morneau’s budget announcements about science and research. “We welcome the commitments aimed at increasing funded research-innovation activities through the granting councils, restoring Canada’s ability to make informed decisions with input from public science, and increasing access to information through open data, especially given the affronts experienced by scientists under the previous government,” said Jean-Marie Lafortune, FQPPU President. “However, this shift will not be achieved until a parliamentary science officer position is established.”
In addition, despite gladly accepting the additional recurring commitments of $95 million to research granting agencies, the FQPPU urges the federal government to do more to recognize the importance of independent research, which has been highly neglected over the past decade. “With regard to research funding, the previous government disproportionately favoured commercial applications by imposing certain themes and partnerships with businesses, without consideration for public interest,” said Mr. Lafortune. The announced review of federal funding of basic research, mandated by the Minister of Science, is welcome news. The FQPPU offers its support to Minister Duncan in her forthcoming review of university research funding methods, in order to ensure that they are more respectful of academic freedom.
Finally, while the FQPPU positively views further federal government support to increase access to university studies, as well as the investment of $2 billion over three years for university infrastructure, it is important to remember that education remains under provincial jurisdiction, and the FQPPU will continue to advocate that Quebec conserve its power with regard to this matter.
The FQPPU represents the majority of regular professors from English- and French-language universities in Quebec.
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