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Following the Money May 22, 2009

Posted by gordonwatts in politics.

Saw this in What’s New:


Even as researchers in the U.S. are looking at record basic research increases, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government next door plans cut basic research to help pay for his "stimulus package." According to Monday’s Globe and Mail, one of the worlds leading immunologists, Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, is leaving the University of Montreal for Florida and taking 25 scientists on his team with him.

This is so true. A number of years back, when science budgets weren’t going anywhere, Canada’s looked pretty nice – they were seeing constant increases and seemed to be quite serious about attracting Canadian Americans back up north. Especially the good ones. Then Harper showed up. Things haven’t been as nice since, and they have gotten much worse as this economic slump has bit in. The US’ approach has been to try to spend its way out, and Canada is attempting to keep costs down while redirecting spending. You can see one affect here – someone who will create new ideas and research is shifting countries. Of course, no one knows if he is going to generate some new cure that will be worth millions, but if he does he will be in the USA now and that will go towards our GDP and our taxes and…

Part of the reason I never totally understand people who don’t want to attract and let in more highly trained foreigners. 🙂



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[…] Following the Money « Life as a Physicist […]

2. Aleksie - May 25, 2009

This is a really good market for places with money… I’ve heard stories with other departments at universities (not science) who get to pick from the absolute top, because other places are failing with money.

3. Gordon Watts - May 25, 2009

This is completely true. Anyone that has lots of extra cash right now can do this. But there aren’t a lot of places…

4. Jon - July 2, 2009

The Canadian dollar has also tanked. Since Canada has a tiny economy, that means that everything costs that much more. It is like a 15% salary cut over the last year, except that the tax scales haven’t dropped. I’m just saying, if you think an 8% salary cut will drive people away from UC…

5. Gordon Watts - July 2, 2009

I do think 8% will drive them away – and I think that 15% drop will also drive people away from Canada! It is a scale, of course. There are some people that will never leave where they are – because they are loyal or perhaps because of some other consideration (close to parents, etc.). But each time something like this happens it makes people more likely to leave – people go where they can do what they like the easiest!

15% is harsh. So if there haven’t been salary cuts, then this must show up in increased costs for various things? 15% hike in prices over the course of a year – that would mean some serious Canada inflation issues!

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