Canadian Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's unveiling of the 2004 budget yesterday (March 23) included key gestures—accompanied by money—toward science.

Citing initiatives such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canada Research Chairs programs, Goodale quoted Peter MacKinnon, the chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, as saying that the federal focus on knowledge and innovation can “be in the 21st century what the construction of the transcontinental railway was in the 19th century. It can be a new national dream.”

The government will provide increased funding for the country's granting councils and for Genome Canada, as well as additional support for the indirect costs associated with university research. Goodale went on to say, “We must focus on bringing [innovative] ideas to market, to realizing their commercial potential.”

The budget also provides CAN $270 million (USD $202...

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