Founding of SSHRC

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June 1977 - Creation of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada

On December 2, 1976, Bill C-26 is introduced in Parliament to establish a new granting council to assume control of the Canada Council’s role in funding the new federations. For years, the Humanities Research Council of Canada (HRCC) and the Social Science Research Council of Canada (SSRCC) have been arguing, with input from their member associations, that funding for their disciplines should be handled by a body separate from the Canada Council. The creation of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is, in part, the result of that effort. With it comes the hope for the HRCC and SSRCC that their disciplines will receive more focused attention from the government. However, there are still issues to fight for. The process of appointing a president is slow and the recommendations of suitable academics given by SSRCC and HRCC are ignored in favour of appointing André Fortier, a civil servant. It is then announced that the majority of SSHRC’s membership itself will be non-academics. This creates worries that the new body will be less independent from government—and less subject to academic control—than had previously been hoped. Bill C-26 also notably creates the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.