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Border researcher takes message to Ottawa

A professor who specializes in cross-border transportation studies traveled to the nation’s capital last week to have the chance to meet with federal politicians and convince them of the importance of his research.

“There were a lot of MPs in the room and we got to talk to quite a few of them,” said Bill Anderson, chair of Cross-Border Transportation Centre and a professor in the Department of Political Science. “A lot of them were very interested in the border. They were very interested in the economic aspect and how much the border contributed to the economies of border regions.”

Dr. Anderson was taking part in an event organized by the Research Matters promotional campaign. Organized by the Council of Ontario Universities, the campaign is aimed at heightening awareness among the general public about the importance of university level research.

The April 17 event, held at the House of Commons immediately following question period, saw researchers from universities across Ontario speaking with MPs and Senators about the tangible, positive effects their research is having on the economy and society, as a way to demonstrate accountability for existing government funding.

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) spoke at the event and made a strong case for the importance of investing in university research, Anderson said.

Anderson, who studies the economic impact of moving goods and people across the Canada - US border, said many of those in attendance were especially interested in knowing more about the state of the Detroit River International Crossing, which just recently received final approval from U.S. President Barack Obama.

All of the researchers who took part in the event—dubbed by its organizers a “research pop-up park”—received Research Matters hockey jerseys to wear.