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Statement from Principal Woolf on federal budget

Government of Canada releases 2018 budget which includes substantial investment in research.

On behalf of Queen’s University, I applaud the Government of Canada for its significant investments in fundamental research through Budget 2018, which will revitalize research and scholarship in Canada.

The budget will support the important work of researchers at Queen's through an investment of $925 million over five years in the tri-council funding agencies. This represents a 25 per cent increase, and is the largest-ever investment in investigator-led research in Canada. Overall, Budget 2018 contains nearly $4 billion in new investments to support Canadian research including but not limited to the tri-councils. The budget will also support crucial research laboratories and infrastructure through an investment of $763 million over five years in the Canada Foundation for Innovation. This will result in permanent funding for the foundation of $462 million per year by 2023.

Budget 2018 takes crucial steps to advance diversity and inclusivity in Canada’s research system. A $210-million investment over five years for the Canada Research Chairs program will support early-career researchers, help to increase diversity, and increase the number of women who are nominated as chairs. The budget also asks the tri-councils to collaborate to develop programs that will advance equity and diversity in the academy.

These measures complement Queen’s own commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity through its faculty renewal efforts, and through special programs like Queen's National Scholars, which aim to energize and enhance Queen’s research and to ensure our faculty is more representative of the community it serves.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan for commissioning Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. The panel – which included Queen’s Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald – heard feedback and concerns from across the sector on the nature of Canada’s research landscape. The measures included in this budget demonstrate clearly that the government has listened to those concerns and has taken action to ensure Canada’s place as a global research leader.

Queen's University plays a critical role in supporting Canada’s prosperity by creating a highly-skilled workforce and fostering innovation and discovery. Our researchers are tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues – from cancer to climate change – and are helping to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

I thank Minister Duncan as well as Minister Navdeep Bains and Minister Bill Morneau, along with the government, for recognizing the importance of research to the prosperity of Canada and to the well-being of Canadians. We look forward to working with government in the coming years on ways to further strengthen research in Canada.