During our conversations you expressed an interest in receiving additional information about the financial implications of the pandemic for healthcare-based research institutes in order to help inform the government’s response.
You will find enclosed with this email the best estimates we have been able to model on short notice. In keeping with the spirit of our conversations, I have included estimates of:
- One-time shutdown and restart costs ($231M)
- Ongoing costs for maintenance of research infrastructure ($77M)
- Costs of wage supports for at-risk researchers if offered eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ($354M)
These amount to a conservative estimate of $663M in unfunded costs over 3 months.
I have just concluded a call with leaders in hospital-based research institutes from across Canada who advise me this is the best possible estimate given the timelines we have.
I would note in passing that these estimates differ somewhat from less mature numbers I provided earlier. Our earlier estimates were based on a partial survey of HealthCareCAN members, rather than a model of projected losses for the sector at-large. They also covered a period of 6 months, which we have revised to three months in order to align with the legislative criteria underpinning the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. It will not surprise you that the numbers are not totally compatible given the different methods employed. For the purposes of any modeling or policy work you may undertake in response to the sector’s needs, you may consider the numbers
enclosed here to be more valid and reliable.
Healthcare-based research institutes have worked with their respective organizations to mitigate against financial stress related to COVID-19 over the past month, but the situation is now at a tipping point where financial viability is not sustainable. I am advised that massive job layoffs in Canada’s hospital-based research institutes are scheduled to begin May 1st. We are therefore requesting $663M of support over 3 months starting March 15th to avoid those layoffs and sustain this sector crucial to Canada’s economy.
Thank you very much for taking the time to discuss the matter with me on Wednesday and for any support your department may be able to offer. If you have any questions in connection with the estimates I have provided here, please do not hesitate to connect with me.
President & CEO
HealthCareCAN is pleased to report we have successfully persuaded the federal government to increase the maximum eligibility period for the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) wage subsidy from 12 to 24 weeks. This will provide up to $84 million in extended support for research personnel affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at health research institutions and universities. This increase
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