Government of Canada helping to pave the way for social sciences and humanities research

Speech

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, PC, MP
Minister of Science and Sport

Kingston, Ontario
January 30, 2019

Check Against Delivery

Good morning, everyone.

I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples.

Before I begin, I’d like to acknowledge last week’s event in the community. I want you to know that we stand with you and that the safety and security of everyone in Kingston and across Canada is our top priority.

Now, I’d like to thank you, Dr. Woolfe, for your kind words. And thank you for serving as Principal of Queen’s for a decade. You have done so much for the faculty, students and Queen’s community.

And thank you, Dr. Hewitt. It is such pleasure to join you to make this important investment for the social science and humanities research community. Ted, you are a true champion for research, and I thank you!

It’s a great pleasure to be here on the Queen’s University campus today.

Recently I learned that the revitalization of Botterell Hall is now complete. The new Mitchell Hall is also now open, and it provides more space for the engineering department and helps students access important health and wellness services.

Our government was pleased to contribute more than $31 million to these projects, and I’m happy to see them completed and serving the Queen’s community.

Congratulations to everyone here at the university on the completion of this work.

Now I would like to turn to why we are here today. Since day one, our government has been working hard to put science and research front and centre. We have made sure government scientists feel free to communicate their work to the public, we have reinstated the long-form census and we have put into place a Chief Science Advisor for Canada.

We are also investing more than $4 billion in research—the largest investment of its kind in Canadian history.

We increased support for the social sciences and humanities and reduced the funding gap between SSHRC and the other granting councils—NSERC and CHIR.

In fact, we gave our granting councils a 25% boost in funding—but we have tied this support to the expectation that they develop plans to ensure the next generation of researchers is more diverse.

With these historic investments, we are making sure that it powers fundamental change in the research ecosystem in Canada—that it puts researchers and students first.

Research is at the heart of understanding the challenges and opportunities facing our communities and our people.

As a former researcher, I understand the important role of social sciences and humanities research in building a healthier, stronger and more prosperous Canada. That’s why I’m so excited about today’s news.

Today is a big day for Canada’s social sciences and humanities talent. Our government is announcing a $141-million investment to support the promising work of more than 3,000 researchers and students across Canada.

This support comes through a pair of programs designed to support our best and brightest students, scholars and researchers—including those at the earliest stages of their careers.

Here at Queen’s, 92 researchers will receive more than $4.6 million.

Christine Moon is one of these researchers—congratulations, Christine. She will use her doctoral scholarship here at Queen’s University to research the role that assisted dying plays at the end of life for Korean-Canadians.

Christine is one of the 2,300 students and scholars across Canada at the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels who are receiving an award today.

We are also celebrating another Queen’s researcher today: Dr. Lee Airton is receiving an Insight Development Grant for their research on gender and sexual diversity in Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms.

Dr. Airton joins close to 700 other Insight Development Grant recipients and their teams receiving support through today’s announcement. That number is up 74% from last year under the early-career support program.

That’s a huge jump that we should all be very excited about. This is awesome!

The SSHRC award programs we are highlighting today are all designed to develop the next generation of researchers and leaders.

We value the important contributions you are making to improve the lives of Canadians and push the boundaries of knowledge.

Know that your research provides the evidence for sound policy-making.

The future of Canadian social science and humanities is a bright one.

Research matters.

We can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.

Thank you.


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