Not to pull a Paul Wells, but….

Industry Minister Bernier and NSERC President Fortier
Announce $503 Million in Research Funding and Scholarships
Ottawa, Ontario, September 8, 2006

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, and Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), announced today the results of the 2006 NSERC Grants and Scholarships competitions, worth more than $503 million. Funding was awarded to some 8,800 professors and students across Canada following national, peer-reviewed competitions conducted by NSERC.

As a result of the current competition, some 3,000 professors from across Canada will receive $383.4 million in Discovery Grants to support their research in the natural sciences and engineering. (These awards are normally paid out over five years.) In addition, 2,341 young university researchers – 2,086 at the graduate level and 255 at the postdoctoral level – will receive $100 million to pursue their studies in these fields, while 3,466 undergraduate students will receive Undergraduate Student Research Awards worth a total of $18.7 million to give them a hands-on research experience in a laboratory.

I don’t have time to go through this thing with a fine tooth comb but I did copy and paste the totals by university for the three NB universities and reached an amount of research grants of $1.38 million.

Now, it seems they have given out $383.4 million so that means New Brunswick received 0.4% of the total. If we had just received ‘our share’ based on population, we would have received 2.5% or 6 times more funding.

Now, don’t quote me on this – I did a quick and dirty look at this.

You can view the list here (by university) yourself.

But it seems to me that the Premier at one time made innovation and research & Development a priority (it is gone now on the alter of senior care and HST breaks on electricity) but if that is a priority and his buddies in Ottawa are doling out hundreds of millions in R&D money – maybe he should lobby those ‘great connections’ for at least our share of those funds – not six times less.

I didn’t do the Nova Scotia figures but I’ll bet that Dalhouse alone got 2-3 times what all of NB got.

Is this sour grapes?


But if the Feds announce six months ago another $50 million EI for New Brunswick and then we get diddly squat from them for R&D, it says something.

And if you’re inclined to write me and say the NSERC process is open and fair and based on the quality of projects from around the country, don’t bother. I realize that.

I’m just saying what I have said about R&D for more than a decade. If the feds want to use taxpayer monies to fund R&D – they have to realize the huge economic development implications. And systematically underfunding ‘poor’ areas like New Brunswick while dumping billions into ‘rich’ areas like Ontario may be good for the national economy (or not) but it sure as heck doesn’t help us out much.

As I see it, New Brunswick gets more than its share of EI, Equalization, Heath transfers, etc. and less than its share of R&D funding, economic development funding, government contracts to our firms, etc.

So how’s that for a federal government strategy to develop New Brunswick. More pogie and less investment.