Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak today on Motion No. 38 from the member for Etobicoke North. It is a strong motion with some positive consequences. I am really excited to support it and also speak to an issue that she has led on for years, both in her pre-political career and now over many years serving the Canadian public, including as minister for science.
I would note the important contributions from the MP for Etobicoke North since 2015. When our government was elected back then, we recognized right away that research, science and evidence should be the centre of decision-making and investment choices. There were several initiatives launched to demonstrate this commitment, many of which fell to the MP for Etobicoke North to lead, and I want to salute her efforts today on this.
In addition to reintroducing the long-form census on day one, we also invested more than $10 billion to support Canadian scientists, researchers and cutting-edge equipment between 2016 and 2019. We appointed a chief science adviser, Dr. Mona Nemer, as an independent adviser to the Prime Minister and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. I consider myself very privileged to have regular conversations with our chief science adviser.
We also implemented a set of scientific integrity policies for federal scientists so that they could speak freely about their work. As well, we introduced the digital citizen initiative, which is a strategy to combat digital misinformation, including science and health misinformation, and instituted new requirements for openness and transparency in science and research in the federal government.
There are some major initiatives, and I want to credit the MP for Etobicoke North for her leadership in this regard.
We also took important steps to modernize the scientific ecosystem and federal supports. For example, we implemented equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives that create a more inclusive research ecosystem in Canada; focused more on funding multidisciplinary and collaborative research that reflects the way research is conducted today; ensured better coordination among our world-class funding agencies; and promoted co-operation among federal government laboratories, university research facilities and the private sector.
The global pandemic obviously brought science and research to the forefront. Our efforts to rebuild Canada's science and research capacity in recent years and to forge strong ties with the research community and the innovation ecosystem have been essential in our fight against COVID-19.
Our government has reiterated its commitment to making science-based decisions by mandating the creation of 11 expert groups and task forces, including those convened by the chief science advisor, to inform the government's response to pandemics.
We mobilized researchers and the life science companies to support large-scale efforts to combat COVID-19. As part of more than $1 billion for the COVID-19 response fund, our government invested $217 million in coronavirus research and medical countermeasures to advance projects undertaken by university researchers and others. We also committed $1 billion in support of a national medical strategy to fight COVID-19, which includes vaccine development, production of treatments and tracking the virus. Clearly, in the COVID-19 context, we are talking about a real focus on science in governance.
As well, we helped launch CanCOVID, a new Canada-wide network of health science and policy researchers to facilitate COVID-19 research collaboration and to expedite communication, and we did not stop there. We know that a plan for a long-lasting recovery post-COVID must be led by a growth strategy that builds on our unique competitive advantages in our Canadian economy and in the Canadian research sector.
That is why budget 2021 includes important new resources to strengthen Canada's position as a world leader in research and innovation by building a global brand that will attract talent and capital for years to come.
That includes more than $440 million over 10 years to support the pan-Canadian artificial intelligence strategy, $360 million over seven years to launch a national quantum strategy and $400 million over six years to support a new pan-Canadian genomics strategy.
We are talking about significant investments that are going to lead to distinct Canadian advantages in particular research sectors that really do speak to the importance of science in our approach to governance.
With the remaining time that I have, I want to focus on the importance of Motion No. 38, as advanced by the member for Etobicoke North. As I mentioned, our government since 2015, has had a total commitment to supporting Canada's science and research sector. Facts, evidence and data are informing all elements of government planning and decision-making. I think that, as I mentioned before, in relation to this legacy of science-based decision-making, the MP for Etobicoke North, through her service to the Canadian public as a researcher, academic and later MP, and then minister for science, really has established a legacy that is only going to be further cemented by Motion No. 38.
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted the role that scientists and researchers play in our society and their remarkable work is obviously what has informed the global effort in the fight against the pandemic. I think the Canadian public has really come to appreciate how much they rely on good science being at the foundation of government decisions.
I believe that all parliamentarians appreciate the importance not only of listening to science but of convening a forum within this House where members from all parties and the public might benefit from the reflections of our scientific and research communities. The standing committee proposed by Motion No. 38 would serve as an important dedicated forum to study and report on scientific matters and relevant research activities. It would provide all governments, not only our own but future governments, with an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to the centrality of science and evidence in the context of Canada's legislative branch. It is not just government that needs to focus on science, it is legislators as well. The standing committee on science and research would provide parliamentarians with opportunities to incorporate scientific information in their work within their communities and in the House of Commons.
I think that it is fair to say that science has never been more important in our country's history, in the world's history. Whether looking at the immediate term of COVID-19, or looking at the immediate medium and long-term issues like climate change, science is going to remain our most powerful tool in fighting these crises. We need to make sure that we nurture science and research wisely and that we enable public discussion of science and research. I think that is one of the key pieces of this motion and I salute the member for Etobicoke North for this.
Canada has always had world-leading researchers and has a tremendous track record of scientific accomplishment. It is really remarkable that the House of Commons lacks a dedicated scientific-oriented standing committee to vote on and do scientific and research. I think it has probably been raised by colleagues previously that there have been five previous House of Commons standing committees with either science or research in their titles, but they have always been combined with distinct subject areas; for example, energy industry and energy, industry and technology or regional and northern development. In an era beset by fake news and conspiracy theories, I think that it behooves us as members of Parliament to stand with Canadians. The vast majority of Canadians, in my estimation, would support the idea that Parliament can serve as a better steward of and a better platform for the dissemination of scientific knowledge and facts.
By voting for this motion, I believe that we, as parliamentarians, have a chance to acknowledge our responsibility to protect science and research, and to bring the public to it, but also to bring—