No reform -- imposed from the top, or emerging from the bottom -- will be successful as long as academics in Canada continue to participate in the failed folly that is the existing research grant system. We need leadership from Canadian academics themselves, and scholars will need to be brave.
At its best, peer review ensures published findings in academic papers are based on scholarship that is meaningful, relevant, and credible. At its worst, peer review is slow, expensive, and nowhere near impartial. The problem is that peer review has been shown to re-institute orthodoxy as new discoveries.
Over time, hiring, promotion and tenure committees have favoured grant writers and grantsmanship over other perhaps more creative and innovative scholars who don't toe the line. There are serious consequences when, as in the current system, you invest in projects and not people.