Budget 2018: Investing in Canada’s innovators, scientists and researchers

News release

March 6, 2018 – Waterloo, Ontario

Canadians have always understood that better is possible. Time after time, we have used curiosity, courage, creativity and collaboration to create positive change for ourselves and the world. But progress does not happen without the commitment and the innovative spirit of Canadians—the students, scientists and entrepreneurs who are breaking new ground every single day.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, alongside the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, were at the University of Waterloo to celebrate how, through Budget 2018, the Government is making historic investments to support the next generation of researchers—a generation that includes the remarkable women, visible minorities and Indigenous peoples in the sciences who bring valuable perspectives and ideas to the table.

The Government is investing more than $6 billion in the people behind the ideas that will change the way we live our lives.

Highlights include:

  • $1.2 billion for the granting councils (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research) that will go a long way in supporting the work of some 21,000 researchers, students and high-quality personnel every year, including funding targeted specifically at research that promotes international, interdisciplinary and high-risk/high-reward research.
  • $210 million for the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program that will be used to increase diversity among nominated researchers, including increasing the number of women who hold these prestigious positions. The funding is flexible enough that the CRC Program could see a bump of 250 additional chairs for early-career researchers in the next few years.
  • $763 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation, a not-for-profit agency that puts cutting-edge tools in the hands of our scientists, scholars and students and ensures they have state-of-the-art labs and facilities to make their greatest discoveries.
  • $140 million for colleges and polytechnics that equip students with the hands-on skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow and that actively collaborate with small and medium-sized businesses to help solve their challenges.

Investing in a big way in science and the next generation of scientists is one thing. But the Government of Canada knows it is important to invest in the innovators and entrepreneurs who translate the wealth of knowledge generated by researchers into new products, technologies and services. Budget 2018 also proposes $2.6 billion over five years in additional support to make it easier for Canadians to do business and for entrepreneurs to access the resources they need to innovate, scale up, create jobs and reach new customers around the world.


“My message to our outstanding scientists: we went big so you could go even bigger. With Budget 2018, we are making historic investments in fundamental research so that the next generation of scientists and scholars can fulfill their greatest ambitions. Our investment will empower more women, Indigenous peoples and those otherwise under-represented in research to pursue a career in the sciences—one that will help drive innovation, create new jobs, and support a strong and growing middle class.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“New technologies and breakthroughs are often driven by hard-working start-ups looking to shake up the status quo. They are key to driving innovation and setting our economy up for growth in the modern economy. Thanks to historic investments in fundamental research, as part of Budget 2018, our government is taking steps to ensure that our scientists and researchers have the tools and support they need to continue their leadership on the world stage. The budget’s emphasis on empowering women, especially women scientists, is especially important. These dedicated, passionate women will be the leaders of tomorrow, not only in science but in business as well.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

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Follow Minister Duncan on social media.
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

Ann Marie Paquet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

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