Fate of world's biggest telescope in Canada's hands

Canadian astronomers have always hit well above their weight class in astronomy, and they have put a lot of innovative ideas into the design for this telescope. And if Canada does not pony up the cash then that innovation will be exploited primarily by other countries. And Canadian astronomy risks heading into obscurity.

Canadian astronomers and engineers have been leaders on the project from the beginning, and Canada has already invested more than $30 million in design and development.

But the Harper government must now dedicate another $300 million for the real work, money that will be used to build critical parts of the observatory in Canada and to make us an official partner, securing access for Canadian scientists.
Last year’s federal budget passed over the project, sowing uncertainty.

Without that money, Canadian designs will be handed over to foreign engineers, the two rival projects will surge ahead and Canadian astronomers will watch from the sidelines for a generation or longer as scientists with access to premier facilities scoop up all of the mind-expanding — and perhaps Nobel-worthy — science.