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House of Commons Petitions

Petitions help keep this issue at the forefront of decision-makers minds and require a response

Petition Series

 We have launched a series of petitions backed by Members of Parliament from different parties to show broad support for this issue. Each petition requested the same asks to increase funding for grad students and postdoctoral scholar.

Our petitions were backed by MP Richard Cannings (NDP), MP Iqra Khalid (Liberal), MP Ferreri (Conservative), and MP Blanchette-Joncas (BQ) and each has reached over 500 signatures.

 

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Petition e-4604, backed by MP Maxime Blanchette-Joncas, closed on November 27, 2023 with 3400 signatures.

The government tabled a response to petition e-4508, backed by MP Michelle Ferreri, on November 9, 2023:


Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): THE HON. FRANÇOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE

The Government of Canada recognizes that investment in research and talent is critical to driving discoveries and innovative breakthroughs that generate social, health, and economic benefits for Canadians, as well as to help train the next generation of diverse research leaders. Since 2016, Canada has committed more than $16 billion to support the valuable contributions that scientists and researchers make to the health, well-being, and prosperity of all Canadians.

Through Budget 2021, the government announced a total of $1 billion to strengthen research systems and talent pipelines for biomanufacturing and life sciences, through the Tri-Council Canada Biomedical Research Fund, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Clinical Trials Fund. Budget 2021 also provided $360 million to launch the National Quantum Strategy to amplify Canada's significant strength in quantum research, grow our quantum-ready technologies and talent, and solidify Canada's leadership in the field.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the critical role that federal scholarships and fellowships play in nurturing and sustaining Canada’s top talent through support for career progression and increased financial security and independence. The government also recognizes that a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential for creating innovative impactful research. To this end, the granting agencies are continuing their work to increase opportunities for Black student researchers, using the funding received in Budget 2022 for targeted scholarships and fellowships.

More recently, through Budget 2023, the government proposed $813.6 million in 2023-24 to increase Canada Student Grants by 40 percent, providing up to $4,200 for full-time students, to support postsecondary students and make life more affordable. Budget 2023 further proposes to raise the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study, and waive the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time, allowing up to 1,000 additional students to benefit from federal aid in the coming year.

Budget 2023 also proposed $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions. This investment will support students in gaining the necessary skills, education, and real-life work experience to transition successfully into the workforce.

Looking forward, the Government of Canada remains committed to supporting a strong federal system that fosters new ideas, breakthroughs, and advancements. In order to cement Canada’s leadership position on the world stage, our research support system must meet the needs of today’s research, which is increasingly complex, collaborative, multi- and inter-disciplinary, and international. To these ends, the government recognizes the importance of continued evaluation of and investment in Canada’s science and research ecosystem. The government welcomes the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System’s report and is carefully reviewing the findings and recommendations, and taking them under consideration as it advances its efforts to support the research ecosystem and Canada’s top talent.

The government tabled a response to petition e-4457, backed by MP Iqra Khalid, on November 20, 2023:

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): THE HON. FRANÇOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE

The Government of Canada recognizes that investment in research and talent is critical to driving discoveries and innovative breakthroughs that generate social, health, and economic benefits for Canadians, as well as to help train the next generation of diverse research leaders. Since 2016, Canada has committed more than $16 billion to support the valuable contributions that scientists and researchers make to the health, well-being, and prosperity of all Canadians.

Through Budget 2021, the government announced a total of $1 billion to strengthen research systems and talent pipelines for biomanufacturing and life sciences, through the Tri-Council Canada Biomedical Research Fund, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Clinical Trials Fund. Budget 2021 also provided $360 million to launch the National Quantum Strategy to amplify Canada's significant strength in quantum research, grow our quantum-ready technologies and talent, and solidify Canada's leadership in the field.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the critical role that federal scholarships and fellowships play in nurturing and sustaining Canada’s top talent through support for career progression and increased financial security and independence. The government also recognizes that a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential for creating innovative impactful research. To this end, the granting agencies are continuing their work to increase opportunities for Black student researchers, using the funding received in Budget 2022 for targeted scholarships and fellowships.

More recently, through Budget 2023, the government proposed $813.6 million in 2023-24 to increase Canada Student Grants by 40 percent, providing up to $4,200 for full-time students, to support postsecondary students and make life more affordable. Budget 2023 further proposes to raise the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study, and waive the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time, allowing up to 1,000 additional students to benefit from federal aid in the coming year.

Budget 2023 also proposed $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions. This investment will support students in gaining the necessary skills, education, and real-life work experience to transition successfully into the workforce.

Looking forward, the Government of Canada remains committed to supporting a strong federal system that fosters new ideas, breakthroughs, and advancements. In order to cement Canada’s leadership position on the world stage, our research support system must meet the needs of today’s research, which is increasingly complex, collaborative, multi- and inter-disciplinary, and international. To these ends, the government recognizes the importance of continued evaluation of and investment in Canada’s science and research ecosystem. The government welcomes the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System’s report and is carefully reviewing the findings and recommendations, and taking them under consideration as it advances its efforts to support the research ecosystem and Canada’s top talent.

The government tabled a response to petition e-4098, backed by MP Richard Cannings, on December 2, 2022:

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The Government of Canada values the critical role of the research community, including graduate students and trainees – Canada’s future researchers – as well as researchers at all career stages, in producing the knowledge, discoveries, and innovations that help build a strong future for Canada and the world.

The Government of Canada also recognizes the importance of investing in post-secondary research, and the critical role that federal scholarships and fellowships play in nurturing and sustaining Canada’s top talent through support for career progression and increased financial security and independence.

Since 2016, Canada has committed more than $14 billion to support the valuable contributions that scientists and researchers make to the health, well-being, and prosperity of all Canadians.

In terms of targeted investments to support students and postdoctoral fellows, Budget 2019 provided $114 million over five years with $26.5 million per year ongoing, to the granting agencies to create 500 more master’s level scholarship awards annually and 167 more three-year doctoral scholarship awards annually through the Canada Graduate Scholarship program.

Budget 2019 also allocated $37.4 million over five years and $8.6 million annually to the federal granting agencies to expand parental leave coverage from six months to 12 months for students and postdoctoral fellows who receive granting council funding. The investment has helped young researchers better balance work obligations with family responsibilities, especially women who are often also primary caregivers.

To help sustain the talent pipeline during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government invested $291.6 million in income support for research trainees (students and postdoctoral fellows). The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was also established as a temporary program to help Canadian universities and affiliated health research institutions. The CRCEF provided $323 million in wage support for approximately 32,000 research-related personnel, of which 29 percent were students and 10 percent were postdoctoral fellows.

Recognizing that diversity is one of Canada’s great strengths, and representation of varied cultural and social perspectives is essential to improving the scientific impact of research, the Government continues its work to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) to harness the country’s full range of talent. Acknowledging that Black researchers often face systemic barriers leading to underrepresentation in the awarding of grants, scholarships, and fellowships, Budget 2022 provided $40.9 million over five years and $9.7 million ongoing to the granting agencies to support targeted scholarships and fellowships for Black student researchers.

The Government recognizes that graduate students and trainees continue to face increasing financial pressures and acknowledges the calls from the research community to increase the value of scholarships and fellowships. Going forward, the Government will continue to work with the three federal granting agencies and the research community to explore ways in which we can better support our next generation of researchers and top talent.

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