Analysis: Open Access Private Members’ Motion

Text of the motion:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the value of a publicly-funded research and the importance of increasing researchers’ ability to use and build on knowledge paid for by Canadian taxpayers; and (b) expand the existing Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications to apply to all research funded by federal research grants, taking into account the need to protect commercially sensitive information.

Objective of the motion:

  • This motion proposes to make all research funded through non-governmental organizations by the federal government subject to the same open access publication policy as the three granting councils (SSHRC, CIHR and NSERC);
  • This motion increases public access to government-funded third-party research and will give Canadians and researchers more access to research funded through tax dollars;
  • This motion does not deter researchers from applying for funds, but rather strikes a balance between researchers’ ability to commercialize their findings while ensuring public access to publicly funded research.

Current Tri-Agency Open Access Policy:

  • Research published through the three granting councils is subject to an open access publication policy, which means the research must be available to the public at no cost and free of most copyright restrictions;
  • In addition to supporting research via the three granting councils, the federal government provides funding to non-governmental organizations for research purposes (e.g., Mitacs, Brain Canada, Genome Canada and Stem Cell Network). Currently, this research is not subject to the same open access publication policy as the three granting councils.

What is a Private Members’ Motion?

  • Members of Parliament can use Private Members’ Motions to introduce a variety of issues and suggest the government initiate a certain measure;
  • Each Member of Parliament has at least one opportunity per Parliamentary session to introduce a Private Members’ Bill or Motion on a topic of their choosing. This is MP Matt Jeneroux’s second Private Members’ Motion of this Parliamentary session.