Newest National Research Council layoffs the “tip of the iceberg”: NDP science critic

Newest National Research Council layoffs the “tip of the iceberg”: NDP science critic by Natalie Stechyson, Postmedia News, October 28, 2012
OTTAWA ¬ Nearly 100 of Canada’s top researchers and scientists are facing layoffs in what the NDP science and technology critic says is just the “tip of the iceberg” in what appears to be the Conservative government’s plan to slash funding for basic research and focus instead on research that’s industry-driven. “There’s a much larger game afoot but it’s being rolled out in a really stealthy way,” said Kennedy Stewart, the NDP critic for science and technology. “When we look back in a couple of years we’ll see that it really is part of a larger plan and it will probably have an impact on our international standing.”

On Thursday, 94 National Research Council employees across the country received notification letters that their services “may no longer be required,” according to a statement released that day by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. Those employees include scientists, researchers and business development officers who work in the life sciences, engineering, and business management divisions. They are located in Halifax, Moncton, Fredericton, London, Regina, Winnipeg and Ottawa, the union’s statement said. “This is another example of the government’s wrong-headed approach to the NRC,” the union’s president Gary Corbett said in the statement. “Future NRC activities will be dictated by market demands and by what can be commercialized, instead of being focused on the benefits Canadians receive from public research, and the economic spinoffs which can be leveraged from cutting-edge studies.” Another 30 notices had already gone out to National Research Council employees earlier in the year, the union said. [Emphasis added]

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