There’s been a lot of talk in the press since Harper unveiled the Conservative budget and Ingatieff rolled over for him that the Conservatives are no longer conservatives because of their proposed lavish spending and deficits that will disappear through imaginary forces in just a few years. But the reality is that when it comes to the country’s intellectual and academic life, the conservatives remain conservative. Genome Canada is left with no money at all, and the major federal granting agencies–SSHRC, CIHR and NSERC–are all getting their budgets cut one way or another. SSHRC, unsurprisingly, does a little worse than the rest and it’s worth noting that all the new initiatives in the humanities and social sciences seem tied to business goals. Combine that with Harper’s “ordinary people don’t care about the arts” rhetoric and his accompanying cuts there, and I see a clear ideology.
You can read more in a Bulletin on the Federal Budget from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Although it’s cautiously nonpartisan, the Bulletin offers a good justification for why academics in Canada should oppose the conservative party in the next election and call their MPs to object to the current budget.