Whether as a CPA Executive Officer or as the CPA Science Directorate, CPA regularly meets with Members of Parliament and other government representatives to advocate for psychological science.
On May 14, 2012, Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker attended the Health Research Caucus, hosted and organized by Senator Kelvin Ogilvie, Chair of the Research Caucus. The reception and kiosk session, which was held at Parliament Hill, focussed on three areas of brain research: the aging brain and dementia, traumatic brain injury, and child brain development.
On May 15, 2012, Dr. Karen Cohen, Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, and Ms. Meagan Hatch met with Senator Kelvin Ogilvie, Chair or the Research Caucus to discuss issues related to access to mental health services, mental health research, and knowledge translation.
In August 2011, the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR), of which the CPA is a Steering Committee Member, submitted its "asks" to the House of Commons Finance Committee. The CCR’s three recommendations were:
- The Granting Councils are the best mechanism to fund basic (curiosity-driven) research in Canada. While funding for the Councils’ targeted programs has increased significantly in recent years, the consensus among our community and our partners in every sector is that increased support for basic research is also essential to a healthy national innovation capacity. Recognizing this, Budget 2010 did increase the Councils’ funding for basic research — a small but much appreciated increase. Much more remains to be done, however, particularly given that the cuts to the Councils mandated in 2009 will reduce their budgets by $87M p.a. in 2011-12 and beyond. CCR therefore recommends: That the federal government augment the basic (curiosity-driven) research portion of the Granting Councils’ budgets by 5%.
- A key role of basic research is to educate, inspire, and unleash the creativity of the next generation of highly qualified people. Relative to our population, however, Canada produces 35% fewer graduates at the crucial doctoral level than the OECD average or the U.S.10 This has been recognized by the federal government with the creation of, for example, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. CCR therefore recommends: That additional graduate level scholarship programs be developed and sustained over the long term to support emerging researchers, as current stimulus programs expire.
- Adding at least 40% to the direct costs of conducting research in Canada, indirect costs29 are reimbursed by the federal Indirect Costs Program at only about 25%.30 The shortfall is borne by the research institutions, forcing them to forego other investments that would improve the quality of teaching and research. The U.S., U.K. and the EU recognize the impact of such a burden and reimburse 40-60% of the direct costs of research. Maintaining world-class research infrastructures and facilities in Canada requires increased support to cover these costs. However, CCR recognizes the current financial situation and therefore recommends: That the funding for the indirect costs of university research rise over the course of the next 5 years to represent 40 percent of the direct costs funded by the granting councils.
In August 2010, the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) submitted its "asks" to the House of Commons Finance Committee. The CCR’s three recommendations were:
- That the federal government augment the basic (curiosity-driven) research portion of the Granting Councils’ budgets by 5%.
- That additional graduate level scholarship programs be developed and sustained over the long term to support emerging researchers, as current stimulus programs expire.
- That the funding for the indirect costs of university research rise over the course of the next 5 years to represent 40% of the direct costs funded by the granting councils.
On November 30, 2010, CPA along with other members of the CCR met with Phil Harwood, Director of Policy, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, to discuss the CCR’s asks.
The CCR will continue to to seek meetings with various MPs in the coming months to discuss its asks in anticipation of the 2011 budget.
In October 2009, members of the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR), of which CPA is a Steering Committee member, appeared before the House of Commons Finance Committee to present its most recent “asks”. The CCR’s two recommendations were:
1. CCR recommends that the government augment the funding for basic research by increasing by 5% the base budgets of the three granting councils and of Genome Canada, with any new targeted initiatives being funded separately and in full consultation with theresearch community. Cost: about $100M p.a.
2. CCR recommends that the funding for the indirect costs of university research rise to represent 40 percent of the direct costs allocated to the granting councils. Cost: about $200M p.a.
In follow-up, in October 2009, CPA, along with other members of the CCR met with Marc Garneau, Liberal MP, Science and Technology Critic, and Honourable James Flaherty, Conservatives, Minister of Finance (see photo).
From left to right: Paul Vincett, Canadian Association of Physicists, Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Canadian Psychological Association, Honourable Minister Flaherty, Roland Andersson, Chemical Institutes of Canada and Acting Chair of the Canadian Consortium of Research, David Molenhuis, Students Federation.