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Canadian satellite system under budget cloud

Nature Missed deadlines and an underfunded Canada Space Agency (CSA) may scuttle plans to build the next generation of earth observing satellites, according to the Canadian satellite company pegged to build them. In 2010, the CSA selected MacDonald, Detwillier and Associates Ltd. to design the successor to Radarsat-2, the agency’s current earth observing satellite. The company came up with a three-satellite system that would provide information for maritime surveillance, disaster management and ecosystem monitoring. But Dan Friedman, the company’s president and chief executive officer, says the federal government missed a target deadline for awarding the building contract in January, according to a story … Read more…

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Canadian budget bill undermines environment, critics charge

Today in Canada’s House of Commons,  lawmakers debated a budget bill that critics say would gut a variety of environmental and species protection measures. The Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act would allow the Conservative-led government to implement certain provisions included in the 2012 budget tabled just over a month ago (see ‘Canadian budget hits basic science‘). But the 420-page document includes “other measures,” which have angered the opposition, environmental groups and scientists. Bill C-38 aims to repeal the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, a federal law that promotes sustainable development, and rewrites the role of the National Energy Board, an independent agency that … Read more…

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Canada urged to tackle scientific misconduct

More education, advice and transparency needed to improve integrity. As cases of questionable conduct among scientists stack up around the globe, a report commissioned by the Canadian government calls for a rethink of the country’s research system to boost honesty and curb misconduct. The recommendations, if implemented, would relax privacy laws that hamper the identification of individuals and institutions found guilty of research misconduct, and create an independent council to promote best practices and prevent research misconduct. The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) — a not-for-profit corporation based in Ottawa that independently assesses science relevant to public issues — released … Read more…

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Canadian science minister under fire

Comments on evolution spark fierce criticism. It’s been a rough month for Canada’s minister of science and technology. Gary Goodyear, who was appointed to the new position in October 2008, has been roundly criticized in the media for an outburst during a meeting with a university teachers’ group and for his comments on evolution. Some Canadian researchers say the criticism is unreasonable, but others say it suggests that Goodyear, a chiropractor by training, is not in tune with the community whose portfolio he oversees. :: Keep reading in Nature ::

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Canadian research infrastructure receives support, but will it last?

Investment in infrastructure typically brings to mind hard-hat projects such as the construction of highways. But to keep science on the fast track, focused funding of research infrastructure is necessary. Following this logic, in December the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced it would award C$45.5 million ($35.9 million) to specific Canadian research projects. The investment will support more than 250 projects, including those in the health field, by providing equipment to attract and retain researchers to Canadian institutions. The money will be distributed through two channels: the Leaders Opportunity Fund, which allows institutions to invest in research equipment for … Read more…