In April of 2017 the Canadian Government released the Fundamental Science Review report from a committee headed by David Naylor. This is the first time in decades any government in Canada has asked for an expert review of how we fund science, as these policies are historically political, and often in contradiction to expert opinion of how to best spend what few tax dollars Canada has ever dedicated to basic science research.
Our review was a highlight of failure, as a country we spend less than 0.5% of our health care spending on the CIHR annual budget, research that ironically impacts lower health care costs on Canada. Per capita, this is 1/4 what the US spends (1/40th in total dollars), and less than all the G8. Yet despite this, for a tiny country that could fit into most US states, we have a bizarre number of agencies and programs duplicating administrative overhead costs, diverting funds from labs.
Most research grant dollars support people, well-trained people and young people who want to change the world and make life better for the sick. Somehow, priorities of historic Canadian governments have decided that the military is 15X more important for the future of Canadians than health research. As the United States enjoys a robust biotech and Pharmaceutical industry, owning 45% of the world’s pharmaceutical market, Canada’s pharma impact is mostly by outstanding scientist ex-repatriates doing research and development in the US.
If we ever see the F-35 jets, keeping then parked in hangars every year will cost more than the entire CIHR budget per year.
We encourage The Prime Minster and Minister of Youth to reverse the historic apathy of support for Canadian Science and adopt the recommendations of the Naylor Report.
1% can make all the difference. #SupportTheReport