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Scientists to present 60-metre-long open letter to federal government demanding raise

Scientists and researchers rally on Parliament Hill to call on the federal government to increase funding for graduate and post-doctoral scholars, during the “Support Our Science” rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Hundreds of scientists and researchers are expected to gather on Parliament Hill today to call for a raise.

Organizers of the "Support our Science" rally say they will present an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Science and Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne that has been signed by thousands of scientists and measures more than 60 metres long.

The group says many graduate and post-doctoral scholars receive funding from three federal agencies, but often the scholarships amount to less than minimum wage.

They also say graduate students have not seen a raise since 2003, and post-doctoral scholars have only had wages rise by 12.5 per cent in those 19 years.

As a result, many researchers leave the country or leave their fields altogether.

The group wants the federal government to increase the value of that funding by 48 per cent to match inflation since 2003, and to create 50 per cent more graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 11, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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