Drought Research Initiative
Foundation budget safe

The StarPhoenixFebruary 9, 2009

Nothing could be further from the truth than the assertion in your editorial, More jobs created with white coats than hard hats (SP, Feb. 2), that the budget for the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science was "slashed" in the Jan. 27 economic action plan.

Current funding for the foundation remains in place, unchanged and unaffected by the federal budget.

The editorial further states that funding for research "will end in a year." The foundation was established by the Canadian government in 2000, with a one-time grant of $60 million to be disbursed over six years. In 2004, the foundation received a second grant of $50 million, with the grant and related investment income to be disbursed by the end of March 2011 -- two years from now.

Those are the facts from the foundation's own financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2008. To date, the government has not received a formal proposal for additional funding from the foundation.

World-class research is, and will continue to be, a priority of our government.

Budget 2009 targets investments that improve Canada's environment, including $1 billion for clean energy research, development and demonstration projects, $1 billion for green infrastructure projects and $87 million over two years for key Arctic research facilities.

Bill Rodgers

Director of communications for

Environment Minister Jim Prentice
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