COVID impact survey results

Thank you to all our members and colleagues who responsed to our survey on the impact of COVID-19 on researchers and laboratories in Canada. The full results of the survey are available here:

CAN-ACN survey on impact of COVID-19 on researchers and laboratories in Canada

This data will be used to support our recommendations to the House of Commons Standing committee on Finances, for their consultations in advance of the next federal budget.

CAN participation in SfN’s Hill Day

CAN participation in SfN’s Hill Day

Charles Bourque, CAN VP, with Michael Heintz, Director of Advocacy & Training at SfN and fellow neuroadvocates on Capitol Hill
Charles Bourque, CAN VP, with Michael Heintz, Director of Advocacy & Training at SfN and fellow neuroadvocates on Capitol Hill

CAN was invited by SfN to participate once again in SfN’s Hill Day, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on March 5, 2020.  CAN Vice-President Charles Bourque and CAN Past-President and current member of SfN’s GPA committee Jaideep Bains were present for this important event. Each was paired with a group of neuroadvocates from different states and to meet with elected officials and their staff to advocate for more funding for NIH and NSF. It was an opportunity to network with fellow neuroadvocates, to learn from our colleagues at SfN effective advocacy strategy.

“Support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Capitol Hill is bipartisan and strong.  Republican and Democrats equally recognize the importance of investing in health research – this is truly inspiring. We have work to do in Canada to increase the support for our NIH equivalent, CIHR, but the example of the our US colleagues shows us how to do this, and the importance of being mobilized towards this goal.”

-Charles Bourque


Jaideep Bains on Capitol Hill
Jaideep Bains on Capitol Hill – photo  credit: SfN

“Visiting US senators and representatives during Capitol Hill Day was a great experience. It confirmed that face-to-face contact and open discussion can have a real impact on the support elected officials have for science, and help build lasting relationships between scientists and politicians.”

-Jaideep Bains

We wish to thank Charles Bourque and Jaideep Bains for representing CAN at Hill Day.

The support CAN receives from SfN, both in terms of in-kind training and exchange, and funds for advocacy in Canada that we receive through our Memorandum of Understanding with SfN are of critical importance to allow us to pursue our advocacy goals in Canada.

CAN January 2020 Report on advocacy

CAN-ACN Annual Advocacy report – January 2020

Presented to SfN’s Government and Public Affairs committee by Jaideep Bains, CAN past president and GPA member.

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience has developed an active and efficient advocacy program over the last years thanks to the important support provided by the Society for Neuroscience. CAN will continue to build on the advocacy experience we have built, and, thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding with SfN which has taken effect in July 2019, will expand its efforts in the coming years.

Our main objective in the coming months is to engage directly with elected officials, senators and parliament hill staff through the organisation of the first Canadian Parliament Hill Day, which will take place March 31st, 2020. We have hired a Public Affairs, Temple Scott Associates, with experience in organizing such events, to help with the logistic and strategic organisation of our event.
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CAN Parliament Hill Day – March 31st, 2020 – Call for participants

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience is planning a day on Parliament Hill to advocate for increased federal funding for scientific research, through increased investments in the three main granting councils of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience wants to bring a diverse group of neuroscientists to Parliament Hill to share their stories with Members of Parliament, Senators and Parliament Hill staff members.  Continue reading

Science was not an Election 2019 issue – but it should be a priority for the next Government

By Tarik Möröy and Katalin Tóth — published in National Newswatch — Oct 25 2019

During Election 2019, the issue of poorly funded scientific research in Canada was not addressed by the major Parties and their leaders. Now, scientists across the country are concerned that they will not have the needed Federal support to make groundbreaking discoveries that move Canada and the world forward.

Investing in scientific research isn’t just important for scientists, it impacts the daily lives of all Canadians. From innovative treatments to cure diseases that affect millions of Canadians, to new technologies that can help us address the global climate crisis, scientific research is essential to confronting the issues that we face today and that our children will meet in the future. These investments are not simply expenses; they contribute significantly to the prosperity of our country, which gains from the work of highly-trained scientists, and the knowledge they generate, to drive today’s innovation-based economy. Continue reading

Science should be an election issue – read our Op-Ed in Le Devoir

Read an Op-Ed signed by the Presidents of CAN, Katalin Toth, and of the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences, Tarik Moroy, this morning in Le Devoir.  Scientific research is important for all Canadians – it is how Canada can face the issues and challenges we face today. Political leaders should commit to supporting science today.
Read our op-ed here (in French):

The Liberal Party answers CAN’s questions about science support

We have received a response from the Liberal Party of Canada to our five questions about science support.

  1. Is your Party committed to fully implementing the report of the Fundamental Science Review (Naylor report) with additional financial investment into open competitions to maintain Canada as a forefront leader in research innovation and research discoveries?

Our Liberal government believes in evidence-based policy and in science and in the Canadians behind the next big ideas. After a decade of setbacks and cuts to science under the Harper Conservatives, our government is rebuilding Canadian research and supporting our country’s greatest minds.  We unmuzzled our scientists, brought back the long-form census, and re-instated the position of the Chief Science Advisor. Continue reading

Green party responds to our questions for candidates in advance of the federal election

Last July, CAN sent five questions to the Liberal, Conservative, NPD and Green party in advance of the upcoming federal elections, which we have summarized below.  Read our full questions, with context, here. 

The Green Party of Canada responded first. The questions were submitted to Mrs. Amita Kuttner, Shadow Minister of Science and Innovation for the Green Party of Canada – her response is copied here: Continue reading