New Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has released the Ministerial Mandate Letters he submitted to his Cabinet Ministers (H/T The Frogheart Daily). They outline PM Trudeau’s expectations for his ministers, which focus a great deal on collegiality with members of Parliament outside of the Liberal Party and being open and transparent in their dealings.
But the letters also outline priorities and goals for the ministries. As Science is part of the job title for two different Ministers, these letters help define which areas of science and science policy will fall under which Minister. Other Ministers have science and technology responsibilities (I’ve described these in a separate post) and you can check out their letters as well.
The new Science Minister, Kirsty Duncan, was given the following priorities in her letter:
- Create a Chief Science Officer mandated to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, that scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions.
- Support your colleagues in the review and reform of Canada’s environmental assessment processes to ensure that environmental assessment decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence.
- Support the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour in efforts to help employers create more co-op placements for students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business programs.
- Support your Ministerial colleagues as they re-insert scientific considerations into the heart of our decision-making and investment choices.
- Lead the establishment of new Canada Research Chairs in sustainable technologies, working with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
- Work in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to examine the implications of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems.
- Examine options to strengthen the recognition of, and support for, fundamental research to support new discoveries.
The following paragraph from the letter outlines Trudeau’s philosophy with respect to the role of science in this government.
“We are a government that believes in science – and a government that believes that good scientific knowledge should inform decision-making. We believe that investments in scientific research, including an appropriate balance between fundamental research to support new discoveries and the commercialization of ideas, will lead to good jobs and sustainable economic growth. As Minister of Science, your overarching goal will be to support scientific research and the integration of scientific considerations in our investment and policy choices. Support for science is an essential pillar in our strategy to create sustainable economic growth and support and grow the middle class.”