Just recently I came across NSERC website where the statistics of last year scholarships and awards is posted:http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/FundingDecisions-DecisionsFinancement/ScholarshipsAndFellowships-ConcoursDeBourses/index_eng.asp?Year=2012
Those who study in Canada have heard about the several budget cuts during last year and a year before. However, I am surprised this budget cut mostly affected postdoctoral program compared to graduate scholarship program. Particularly noting that CGS D worth almost the same amount as PDF money wise. For example just in 2012, only 98 PDF (~7.8% of applicants) were awarded while 233 CGS D scholarships (~14%) were awarded. Not to mention the other 426 PGS (~26%) awards which worth more than 200 PDF money wise. In terms of money, the NSERC has funded more than 400*40K for graduate students, while less than 100*40K for PDF. More importantly, finding a postdoc position is relatively much harder than PhD position.
There are also other funding opportunities such as MITCAS or IPS (industrial postdoc). Furthermore, the industry partners (especially in Canada) are not well aware of such programs, and when I contact them they get all confused about what to do, and finally decide not to go through with it. They simply do not have corresponding person for such new program, and it turns to be hassle for secretary to read through all the conditions , requirement, policy, etc. So, they prefer not to do it. I should mention for cutting edge researches which is rather far from present industry, especially in Canada, it is impossible to find an industry partner.
I understand that government desires to have more industry related experiences, but just cutting funds all at once does not help in that direction much. I believe that funding more graduate students, while not supporting them for their career does not seem reasonable (at least to me as a student). Particularly, such a large drastic budget cut at once would lead to huge confusion between students, as I can see in my friends and classmates. More importantly, the other national labs as big as CSA (Canadian space agency) has also suspended their postdoc program which makes things even more chaotic.
In my opinion, the current policy would transform universities to industrial R&D, which is a free ride for industries. Low pay students works for years with government budget for industrial projects. I believe that if a faculty member wants to work on something which is mostly related to present industry, he or she should also receive the money from the related industry instead of government. On the other hand, government should supports those fields who can not receive funding from industry by their nature. The bottom line is that industries should invest on the present and the government should invest on future.