Federal Government creates new positions to support continued scientific excellence

News release

September 27, 2018

Ottawa, Ontario — Fostering scientific excellence and strong, science-based decision making is a priority for the Government of Canada. 

As part of this commitment to scientific excellence, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced today that Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada will each establish a Departmental Science Advisor position. These new positions will further grow the network of science advisors across the federal government, which Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer identified as an important step in strengthening science advice within government.

Reporting directly to the Deputy Ministers, the Departmental Science Advisors will play an important role in supporting high quality scientific research within the federal departments and will help make government science available to Canadians. The science advisors will support the vital work of researchers by strengthening the linkages between science and policy decisions and improving collaboration across sectors and partners. This in turn will help build trust that decisions and investments are made on the best scientific advice available. Both Departments will launch transparent and merit-based selection processes, which will be open to the public.  

Minister Wilkinson also announced that the first task of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Departmental Science Advisor will be to establish a new External Advisory Committee on Aquaculture. This committee will provide advice on longer-term science priorities and mechanisms to better inform decision-making. The Committee and the Departmental Science Advisor will complement, and be shaped by the work of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. Dr. Nemer is currently leading on the expert panel examining how the Department incorporates science in its management decisions on aquaculture.


“Our Government is committed to making evidence based decisions. This is why we have invested in science and hired more scientists through the Oceans Protection Plan. We are proud to be working with Canada’s top scientists. Our departmental science advisor will help convene and advise on working towards more sustainable solutions for the fishing industry.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“To make good decisions for the environment we need to have good science. Our government believes in listening to scientists and respecting science-based evidence. The new departmental science advisors will help ensure that Canada’s environmental policies continue to be informed and guided by evidence.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Our government understands how critical science is to evidence-based decision-making, innovation and a strong economy. The establishment of departmental science advisors across government will help to ensure policy is informed by the best science available and strengthen the culture of science in Canada.”

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“I applaud the departments of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change for their decision to appoint science advisors. Environmental and ocean sciences have broad implications for decisions not only at these departments, but elsewhere in government as well. This is an important step towards strengthening evidence-based decision making in government, and I look forward to working with my future colleagues in these departments.”

Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Departmental Science Advisor will serve for 2-3 year terms, allowing sufficient time for concrete actions to be implemented.

  • Through the Oceans Protection Plan and Budget 2016 investments, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is hiring 254 science professionals across the country.


Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard

Caroline Thériault       
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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