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I had a conversation with the NDP's science and technology critic (Kennedy Stewart) a while back and he was looking for ideas on this file. I made exactly the same pitch that you have here, re: funding more scholars with less money rather than fewer with more money. His challenge to me was to come up with a way to put that in a headline. Sad commentary on the state of policy making in Canada, but, there you have it.

My line back to him, which he accepted as a good one was to argue that by keeping the granting councils budgets flat, but by directing them to spread the money out with smaller grants, the federal government could pithily argue that "X% more researchers are getting federal support for their funding." He bought that as a way to go about doing it and agreed with the merits of the proposal. I still think it's a clever way to argue it.

Simon: Thanks for the comment. Would be nice to hear the positions of all three parties on research funding.

I'm not a politician, but I too like the line about X% more researchers are getting federal funding for their research. I could see that talking point working.

That's probably better than a line about how concentrating funding on a few researchers constitutes "picking winners", and is a bad idea because the government doesn't have that kind of foresight.

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