“Truly Extraordinary” “Third Pillar” of Alberta Research Funding Axed by Prentice Government

On Thursday, the Government of Alberta announced that it “is simplifying its savings plan by eliminating a special purpose fund and two endowment accounts that were established in spring 2014.”

The funds Eliminated include the Social Innovation Fund. Remember that?

The Government announced the creation of the Social Innovation Fund last spring. The Fund’s creation was met with effusive declarations from University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera. These included the following statement published on the University of Alberta’s news page:

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 11.18.44 AM

Well, so much for that! A mere eight months after the Fund’s creation the Fund is axed.

And what does President Samarasekera’s weekly bulletin to the University community, issued yesterday, have to say abut this development? Well, nothing at all, it seems. The President’s Bulletin does, however, declare the last week “a relatively routine one” for the President.

How unsettling it must be for the President to see the Fund for which she had “long advocated” simply disappear. What does this say about the health and stability of the province of Alberta? Given that this fund was touted as so important to the province’s investment in the arts, social sciences, and humanities it must certainly pull President-Elect David Turpin up short. As for the Government, its announcement notes that $200 million “earmarked for trades scholarships” will be left standing. Sounds like we had a lot of hoopla on March 4th about Alberta’s investment in the arts, social sciences, and humanities that has become nothing more than Government investment in “trades.” 

 

 

 

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