Science Minister, Kirsty Duncan chats with new Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer

Transcript—Science Minister, Kirsty Duncan chats with new Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer

[Soft upbeat music up]

[Canada's Minister of Science, Chief Science Advisor and Parliamentary Secretary for Science sit down for an interview in front of large windows with Parliament buildings as a backdrop.]

[Text on screen: Canada's Minister of Science, Chief Science Advisor and Parliamentary Secretary for Science discuss the role of the Chief Science Advisor]

[Music fades]

Kate Young: Hi. I'm Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, and I'm delighted to be here today with Dr. Mona Nemer, our new Chief Science Advisor, and of course our Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan.

Dr. Mona Nemer: Hi, Kate.

Hon. Kirsty Duncan: Hi, Kate.

Kate Young: Well, we know Canadians, and our government values science. But Kirsty, why is it so important for our government to make the promise to support science?

Hon. Kirsty Duncan: Science touches every aspect of our lives. It's about the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. It's about the device you're watching this video on. We are a government that has promised to strengthen science in Canada, to strengthen evidence-based decision-making, and I want to create a culture of curiosity.

Kate Young: So tell us about Mona's new position. Why was it important for our government to name a Chief Science Advisor?

Hon. Kirsty Duncan: We made a promise to restore science to its rightful place. And now we've delivered on that promise by having our new Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer. Mona's going to provide the best scientific advice so we can make the best decisions for Canadians.

Kate Young: So, Mona, tell us a bit about your new role and what it entails.

Dr. Mona Nemer: Well, my new role is to advise government in matters of – where there's science, and there are many of them, as Kirsty's just said. It's also about raising awareness of scientific matters with the public. And this way, Canadians will be able to better understand the science behind decisions, so it supports democracy.

Kate Young: So tell me, Kirsty, what is the difference, then, between your two positions?

Hon. Kirsty Duncan: So Mona brings the science. She's going to collate the current state of science, the latest information we have, the science, the evidence, the facts. She'll bring it to me. And then the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will consider science along with the other factors we have to take into consideration when we make decisions—so the economy, the different regions of Canada, our diversity, equity. We will take science into consideration with all those facts before we act.

Kate Young: Science in action. So, Mona, what's your first order of business?

Dr. Mona Nemer: Well, my first order of business will be to make sure that this actually can happen—impartial advice—and to develop really a network of chief science advisor per department or per sector so that they can support me in providing the best advice to government.

Kate Young: We're all very excited about your new role. Thank you so much to both of you.

Dr. Mona Nemer: Thank you. And I look forward to helping make Canada a global leader in science in all its dimensions.

[Soft upbeat music up]

Hon. Kirsty Duncan: Mona, I just want to say thank you for taking on the position of the Chief Science Advisor. We are so thrilled to have you. Here's to stronger science in Canada.

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