The CAP is a member of the Canadian Consortium for Research, a coalition group that works together to promote the need for support research and post-secondary education with politicians and bureaucrats who have these areas in their portfolio. During this election campaign it is important that we, as physicists, engage in the political process. I would encourage you to do your part in trying to force the various parties and candidates for election to address issues of importance to us. Please consider the following approach developed by our Science Policy Committee working with the Canadian Consortium of Research.
Henry van Driel, P.Phys.
From the Canadian Consortium for Research
Canadians will be going to the polls on Monday, May 2, 2010. No matter which party you support, the time is now to participate in the political process. As you know, now is the time that politicians especially want to hear from their constituents, to secure their votes.
By participating in the electoral process, you can contribute to the future of research and post-secondary education in Canada. You can make your views heard by sending the attached letter (amended or translated as you wish) to your local candidates. Even if the candidates do not reply, you will have made your voice heard.
You will need to add the candidate’s name at the top of the letter and to edit the first sentence according to your background.
To find out the names and contact numbers of your candidates, go to http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx. Near the bottom of the page, enter your postcode. On the next page, go to the Candidates section and select “How do I contact the candidates in my electoral district’.
To make your views known you can also do the following:
- When the national and local news media ask for comments or questions about the election, write in and ask about research and post-secondary education.
- Attend local debates and ask the candidates questions about post-secondary education and research.
- Become active in campaigns.
Potential letter to candidate
As mentioned above, we encourage you to send this letter, or a version you modified/personalized, to each of the candidates in your riding. The more letters they receive, the clearer the message that science and post-secondary education are important to their consitituents. A .doc file of this letter can be downloaded using the link below.
I am a constituent in your riding and a Canadian post-secondary student/university faculty member/ researcher/ member of the research and academic community.
Research in the natural, medical, and social sciences, the humanities, and engineering, is widely acknowledged to be critically important to the achievement of a country’s economic, social, and health-care goals, and to the education of the next generation of highly qualified professionals.
It is also widely acknowledged that an appropriate balance is needed in support for basic (curiosity-driven) versus targeted research. Post-secondary research and education are therefore critical to the intellectual and economic capital, and the future, of Canadian society.
I am therefore seeking your views on the following important issues.
- Does your party platform contain anything related to post-secondary education and funding for research?
- Will your party commit to increasing funding for Canadian research across the domains of basic and applied work in the natural sciences and engineering, and in the social sciences and humanities?
- What is your party’s position on federal funding for basic (curiosity-driven) versus targeted research?
- What is your party’s position on support for the human resources (i.e. university faculty) and infrastructure (i.e. buildings and equipment) essential to providing post-secondary education to Canadians?
- What is your party’s position on the role of government research laboratories?
- What is your party’s position on funding for post-secondary study for Canadian students?