Canada falling behind: Canadians want government to support increased health and medical research funding

New national poll shows Canadians’ strong commitment to health and medical research

OTTAWA, October 12, 2022 – Canadians continue to hold the view that Canada should be a global leader in health and medical research, according to a new survey on health and medical research released by Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery. A majority of Canadians think that the federal government should be spending more on health and medical research.

The survey, CanadaSpeaks! 2022 updates the results from landmark surveys in 2006, 2009, 2015 and 2019.

“With the ever-changing political climate, the federal government should be aware that Canadians recognize the important contributions of health and medical research to our health care system and economy,” says Dr. Rose Goldstein, Chair of Research Canada and Professor at the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened Canadians’ belief in the importance of health and medical research, and there is a strong view that health and medical research should be funded directly by the federal government,” says Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada.

“This survey tells us Canadians have taken note of the role of health and medical research in Canada’s pandemic response,” says Dr. Ryan Wiley, Research Canada’s Special Policy Advisor and President of Shift Health. “We think this is why Canadians are showing overwhelming support for increased government funding for health and medical research.”

Survey highlights

  • 6 out of 10 Canadians think that the federal government’s funding of health and medical research—currently $4.3 billion—should be higher than it is now. Just three percent (3%) think it should be lower.
  • 6 out of 10 Canadians said that they now think health and medical research is more important compared to before the pandemic.
  • 81% of Canadians agree that basic research is necessary and should be supported by the federal government.
  • 87% of Canadians share the view Canada should be a global leader in health and medical research—a slight decrease from the 91% of Canadians who believed the same in 2019.
  • 89% of Canadians say that health and medical research makes an important contribution to the health care system, a rate consistent with three years ago (91%). Notably, however, fewer Canadians consider it to be a very important contributor (52% in 2022 compared to 61% in 2019).
  • When it comes to the economy, the contributions of health and medical research remain as important now as in 2019 for Canadians (80% compared to 81% in 2019). More notable, however, is the increased percentage of Canadians who consider it a very important contributor compared to a decade ago (39% in 2022 compared to 28% in 2012).

The research was commissioned by Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery and conducted by Maru/Blue from September 16th to 17th 2022. It consisted of an online survey of 1,518 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists. The survey has a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The full results of the CanadaSpeaks! 2022 National Public Opinion Poll can be found at:

About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit

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For inquiries:
Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs
Research Canada