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Staying Even

A newly unveiled Canadian budget would leave research funding mostly flat, ScienceInsider reports.

The budget proposed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau includes an overall $11.3 billion increase in spending, bringing the budget to $247.7 billion, it adds. But the budgets of the three major granting councils will remain static until a panel that's reviewing basic research in Canada announces its findings, it says.

In the meantime, ScienceInsider reports that the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada budget will stay at about $848 million, while the Canadian Institutes of Health Research budget will remain at $773 million and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council budget at $547 million.

"The tri-councils get something every year for cost of inflation. I can't remember when they got nothing," James Woodgett from Toronto's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute tells Nature News. "It sends the wrong message, especially with what's going on in the US."

The budget does include $1.5 million a year to fund the office of the national science advisor, who ScienceInsider notes has yet to be named. It also uses $87.7 million that was previously allocated to create 25 "Canada 150 Research Chairs" in honor of the nation's 150th anniversary that aim to attract leading researchers from abroad to work in Canada.

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