Health research is one of the most important investments we can make as a nation. The discoveries and breakthroughs produced by research lead to new medical treatments and cures that directly improve the quality of life of Canadians.
That is why our last federal budget proposed the largest increase in new funding for fundamental research through the granting councils in Canada’s history, with an investment of $925 million over five years, plus new money for lab space and equipment, interdisciplinary and international research, and the Canada Research Chairs program, among others.
The Government of Canada has made health research a priority because we know that all Canadians are touched in some way by ill health.
- Half a million Canadians live with dementia.
- Nearly one in two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
- And about 2.4 million Canadians aged 20 years or older have heart disease.
Research is the key to finding solutions to these persistent health challenges.
Of course, investing in Canada’s health research ecosystem also produces an economic benefit – it creates good, middle-class jobs.
On March 15, 2019, I was pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has made another significant investment in health research. Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), we are investing $275 million to support 369 researchers from across the country. I’m also pleased to note that 15 of these grants – totalling $10.4 million – have been awarded to researchers from right here at the University of Manitoba.
These CIHR Project Grants at the U of M will support the work of incredibly talented and creative researchers – individuals who have dedicated their careers to improving the health of Canadians.
The projects include research on:
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- Heart disease;
- Neurodegenerative disease;
- Mobility impairment;
- Maternal diabetes;
- Autoimmune disease;
- Children’s and youth health;
- Antimicrobial resistance; and
- Indigenous health.
These are just a handful of the research projects that our federal government is supporting with this $275 million investment. Together, these projects offer hope to all of us who are personally affected, or who have loved ones and friends who suffer from these conditions.
By making these vital investments, we are supporting the creation of new knowledge and building the research evidence we need to improve the health of Canadians and strengthen our healthcare system.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank everyone in the health research community for their tireless efforts to address the health problems facing Canadians today, as well as their efforts to create a healthier future for us all. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude and we are proud to support their important work.