The single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history was among the key highlights of Budget 2018 that federal government cabinet members discussed during a visit to the St. John’s campus on March 6.
Seamus O’Regan, minister of Veterans Affairs and associate minister, National Defence, and member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, and Navdeep Bains, minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, were at Memorial to discuss how Budget 2018 is supporting leading-edge scientists, innovators and researchers.
“With Budget 2018, we are making historic investments that support innovation and help the next generation of scientists to meet the challenges of the changing economy, including right here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister O’Regan.
The conversation was moderated by Dr. Madeleine Mant, Memorial’s latest Banting post-doctoral fellow.
“By supporting scientific research and discovery, we’ll transform Canada’s economy into an innovation economy and generate thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs for this generation and the next,” said Minister Bains.
“And because innovation must be for the many and not just the few, this feminist budget will empower women in all areas of our economy because we know that equality is essential to our success.”
President Gary Kachanoski emceed the event, while Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East, also spoke. Gudie Hutchings, member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, was also in attendance, along with Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research); Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic); Iris Petten, chair, Board of Regents; and Mark MacLeod, president and CEO, C-CORE.
The event was held in the Dr. Jack Clark Building (C-CORE).
“I have received an incredible response on this budget and what it means for Canadians, not only in supporting fundamental science research but also in addressing historical gender inequities in science and innovation,” said Mr. Whalen.
“The women and men of St. John’s, including me, are clearly proud of the direction this government is taking the country with a budget that is progressive and inclusive, that works to correct systemic inequity and that strengthens Canada’s position as a prosperous, innovative nation of discovery.”
President Kachanoski told those in attendance that the Government of Canada is one of Memorial’s “most important and supportive partners.
“Since being elected in October 2015, they have championed many Memorial projects,” he added.
“Together, we have announced large-scale investments to support critical infrastructure renewal, expand our university’s research and innovation capacity while supporting our teaching and learning and public engagement initiatives.”
More than 80 people attended the event, including students, researchers, faculty members, staff and members of the wider community, including entrepreneurs, business leaders and federal government representatives.