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e-4287 (Awards and honours)

Initiated by Nicholas Fast from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The cost of living of Canada is at historically high levels;
  • Graduate students and precarious researchers are living at or below the poverty line; and
  • The value and number of scholarships offered by the Tri-Council has not changed in two decades.
We, the undersigned, Graduate Students of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to increase the number and monetary amounts of Tri-Council scholarships to better support graduate students and precarious researchers in Canada.

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): THE HONOURABLE FRANÇOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE

The Government of Canada recognizes that investment in research and talent is critical to driving discoveries and innovative breakthroughs that generate social, health, and economic benefits for Canadians, as well as to help train the next generation of diverse research leaders. The Government of Canada also recognizes the critical role that federal scholarships and fellowships play in nurturing and sustaining Canada’s top talent through support for career progression and increased financial security and independence.

Since 2016, Canada has committed more than $16 billion to support the valuable contributions that scientists and researchers make to all Canadians’ health, well-being, and prosperity. In the 2022 Canada First Research Excellence Fund competition, nearly $1.4 billion was awarded over seven years to maximize the existing research strengths of 11 Canadian institutions. The critical awards will not only support transformational and forward-thinking strategies in research areas of strategic relevance to Canada but will dedicate at least $250 million to support the participation of students and postdoctoral fellows. This will bring the total level of support for students and postdoctoral fellows in competitions to date to almost $600 million. Through Budget 2023, the government proposed $813.6 million in 2023-24 to increase Canada Student Grants by 40 percent, providing up to $4,200 for full-time students to support post-secondary students and make life more affordable.

Budget 2023 further proposes to raise the interest-free Canada Student Loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study, and waive the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time, allowing up to 1,000 additional students to benefit from federal aid in the coming year. Budget 2023 also proposed $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students through partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions. This investment will support students in gaining the necessary skills, education, and real-life work experience to transition successfully into the workforce.

The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting a strong federal system that fosters new ideas, breakthroughs, and advancements. To cement Canada’s leadership position on the world stage, our research support system must meet the needs of today’s research, which is increasingly complex, collaborative, multi- and interdisciplinary, and international. To these ends, the government recognizes the importance of continued evaluation of an investment in Canada’s science and research ecosystem. The government welcomes the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System’s report. It will carefully review the findings and recommendations and consider them as it advances its efforts to support the research ecosystem and Canada's top talent.

Open for signature
February 15, 2023, at 12:27 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 16, 2023, at 12:27 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody—Coquitlam)
April 25, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01333)
Government response tabled
June 8, 2023
Photo - Bonita Zarrillo
Port Moody—Coquitlam
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia