I was given an opportunity to propose a measure to clarify how and on what basis the federal government allocates funds to STI - a measure that would strengthen relations between the federal government and the STI community by eliminating misunderstandings and suspicions on this point. In short, my proposal was that Ottawa direct its Science, Technology and Innovation Council to do three things:
To provide an up-to-date description of how these allocation decisions have been made in the past;
To identify the principles and sources of advice on which such decisions should be based;
To recommend the most appropriate structure and process - one characterized by transparency and openness - for making these decisions in the future.
These are reasonable suggestions from Preston Manning: be clear about why and how the Federal government funds science and technology.
Of course I may not agree with the actual decisions made through such a process, but at least I would know why the decisions were made. The current process is far too opaque and confused for such critical investment decisions.