Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marc Garneau and the Liberal Party of Canada support basic research

Last night I was at a small gathering of Liberal supporters at the Paramount restaurant on Yonge Street in Toronto. The event was organized by Omar Alghbra my former MP in Mississauga. The guest of honour was Liberal MP Marc Garneau who was Canada's first astronaut. He represents the Montreal riding of Westmount—Ville-Marie.

Marc Garneau is one of a small handful of MPs in the Federal Parliament who has a Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, England) He has always been a strong supporter of science and technology and I know that he is involved in forming science policy for the Liberals under Justin Trudeau. This was my chance to put in a good word for funding basic science so I made my pitch. I described to him how the current funding situation is hurting basic science research in the universities [Canada is destroying a generation of scientists].

It wasn't really necessary. Garneau is a strong supporter of basic science and, if elected, the Liberal Party intends to reverse the policies of the current Conservative Party under Stephen Harper. They will change the distribution of funds at NSERC and CIHR to support more curiosity motivated research and to move away from the emphasis on using science funding to support business. According to Garneau, they will also reverse the Harper decision to force NRC into short-term goal oriented technology development and return it to a broad organization that also invests in basic research.

I was impressed by the fact that Marc Garneau was just as passionate about basic research as I am. I'm confident that the Liberal Party understands the problem and will, if elected, take steps to improve the current situation. The next step is to make sure that the Harper government is booted out of office before they can do even more damage.

1 comment :

  1. There is a common sentiment among Canadian voters that the federal Liberal and Conservative parties are indistinguishable. This is one example that shows that to be false. If the Liberals win the next election, Garneau would be a leading candidate for the post of Minister of Science and Technology. Harper gave that position to a creationist: