It’s 1999, and NSERC’s President, Tom Brzustowski, returning from the UNESCO World Science Forum in Budapest, pens an article saying there is no Canadian Academy of Science and it’s time to do something about this.
Interested parties lobby the newish Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development, Gilbert Normand. In April 2000, the presidents of the granting councils and NRC send a letter to the Minister. They argue that it is crucial for Canada to have an independent body capable of giving credible expert advice to the government and to the public on difficult issues that involve science, technology and engineering. The letter supports the proposal for a National Academies of Canada, put forward to the federal government by the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
In October 2000, the science minister holds a national roundtable discussion with over 100 participants at a conference in Aylmer, Quebec to outline key issues for a new organization. The Minister establishes a Canadian Academies working group to flesh out the details of a new organization. This group proposes a fund from the government to ensure stable and continuous funding for an initial 10- year period.
The proposal falls into limbo— (9/11).