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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Canada's Government is pulling the carpet from Genomics.

Canada's conservative party, which currently controls the parliament, has decided that it wont fund genomics research any more. They seem to have decided that the $140 Million that it takes to power Canada's genome centres is too much, although they don't have a problem pouring in over a billion and a half into building upgrades. Wow. Just... wow.

I have never been as impressed with the shortsightedness of the conservatives. Yes, it's great to have a nice shiny genomics building, but when there's no money to operate the machinery, that's just sad. Considering the work that's being done in Canada with the new genomics technology, that's like deciding that all electronics after the invention of the lightbulb is superfluous. Great job guys. Genome Canada, through Genome BC has played a large part in the work I do on breast cancer, on ChIP-Seq work... etc.

Anyhow, this sudden disbelief in science from the government has me wondering what the future has in store for science research in Canada. In the next two years I'll be leaving the happy confines of the Genome Sciences Centre with a nifty doctorate and my hope was that I'll be able to stay in Vancouver (ideally), or at least in Canada to do a post-doc or something genomics related. Unfortunately, the biggest agency helping to get this type of research off the ground was Genome Canada and it's affiliates. Now that they've had a $140 Million/year budget pulled out from under them, I'm guessing it's pretty darn unlikely.

This means we'll be dropping funding for age related diseases, cancers, promising new pharmaceutical technologies.... ok, I'm not going to list it out. I sure hope that the Government knows what it's doing, because all I see in the future is another move... and this time it'll probably be south of the border.

Well, either that or I go back to school for another two years and learn carpentry to help build the empty buildings on campus.

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