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Canada's New Budget on Science

Canada's new budget includes more funding for the life sciences, but much of that is focused on applications and vaccine development, rather than investigator-driven research, Science reports.

According to Bloomberg, Canada unveiled its new, multi-year budget of C$500 billion (US$400 billion) budget earlier this week. Overall, Budget 2021 includes extensions of pandemic relief measures, healthcare funding, and childcare, it reports.

Science adds that the proposed budget also includes $2.2 billion in new funding for life science. In particular, it includes $250 million over four years for the three main Canadian research councils to establish new joint biomedical research grant program and $250 million for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to fund additional clinical trials. The budget also includes $400 over six years to establish a Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy.

Still, Science says that much of the budget is focused on particular research applications to the disappointment of researchers. "We don't see the major investment in basic science that we believe is necessary," McGill University's Abraham Fuks tells it.