Jobs in Canadian Government

Government approach to filling top national lab job worries scientists

Frank PlummerThough most people are in the dark about it, the top job at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory is vacant. And some of the few who know are deeply concerned about the effort afoot to fill it.

While the laboratory's website still lists him as scientific director, Dr. Frank Plummer quietly ended his nearly 14-year tenure as head of the Winnipeg lab at the end of March. In equally low-key fashion, the federal government posted his position on a government jobs website, giving would-be candidates scant time to submit applications.

Some scientists and public health leaders around the country who are aware of the events are worried about the way the search for Plummer's replacement is unfolding, seeing troubling signs in the job posting itself and the way the government has advertised the position.

Dr. Francis Plummer ended his 14-year tenure as head of the National Microbiology Laboratory in March. Plummer is one of the world's top HIV researchers, and in 2005 he was awarded a Grand Challenges Grant for $8.3 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to continue his work. (The Canadian Press)

"To me all the indications are that they're not serious about finding outstanding people, " says Dr. Henry Friesen, one of the scientific leaders who is concerned about what will happen to the Winnipeg lab in the post-Plummer era.

The short time frame, the lack of attention drawn to the opening, and the salary scale listed — starting at $132, 600 — suggest to Friesen and others that the federal government may not be looking for a top-notch scientist to replace Plummer.

Some fear there may be more interest in selecting a bureaucrat than a scientist.

'Minimalist exposure to science'

In fact, while the posting says bilingualism is imperative, it does not explicitly state that candidates must be experienced scientists. Likewise, applicants do not appear to be required to have published scientific papers — the coin of the realm in the world of science.

Instead, it calls for experience managing the delivery of health-related programs, providing strategic scientific advice and representing an organization nationally and internationally.

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England & Canada are cutting corp tax rates.

by flaveur

ENGLAND ... In a 56 minute address, Mr Osborne also announced that corporation tax would be cut by 2 per cent, more than the 1 per cent reduction which was already scheduled, with further 1 per cent falls in coming years.
Funded by an extension of the banking levy, the tax will eventually be slashed to 23% from its current rate of 28%.
The Canadian government says it expects job creation and a boost to its economy once the new corporate taxation rate comes into effect at the start of 2011

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