File photo

Trudeau announces funding to build nuclear medicine hub in B.C.

The new 2,500-square-metre building in Vancouver will house a particle accelerator

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced federal funding Thursday to build a hub for nuclear medicine at Canada’s national particle accelerator in Vancouver.

Trudeau made the announcement after meeting employees and touring the TRIUMF site, which is a joint venture of a consortium of universities.

He said the Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes will provide a first-of-its-kind facility in Canada where scientists and industry partners will work together to advance research including drug development and cancer therapy.

The new 2,500-square-metre building will house a particle accelerator, research facilities and laboratories.

RELATED: B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Trudeau said the facility will help Canada stay a leader in medical isotope research.

“We know that for our country to lead in an ever-evolving economy and create the jobs of tomorrow, we have to invest in our scientists and in the institutions that support them,” he said.

Medical isotopes are safe radioactive substances used to diagnose and treat conditions of the heart, circulatory system and organs, allowing scientists to see what is happening inside the body in a non-invasive way.

The new facility is valued at more than $50 million and is also supported by contributions from the British Columbia government, BC Cancer Foundation, the University of British Columbia and funding from philanthropists.

Trudeau was also scheduled to meet on Thursday with Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart and Doug McCallum, who was recently elected the mayor of Surrey.

McCallum ran on a promise to scrap plans for a light rail transit system in Surrey and instead wants a SkyTrain line from the city centre to neighbouring Langley.

In September, the federal and British Columbia governments reiterated their commitment to funding two major rapid transit projects in Metro Vancouver including the LRT line in Surrey.

Ottawa and B.C. are spending more than $3 billion on the projects, which will see 5.7 kilometres of track and six stations added to the SkyTrain subway line along Broadway. Eleven new stations will be built along 10.5 kilometres of street-level track in Surrey, which would create the first light-rail system in B.C.

RELATED: Newly developed 3D printed tissues could advance cancer research

Asked if the federal government would spend any additional money in Surrey to build a SkyTrain line, Trudeau said: “Our approach on infrastructure projects has never been that Ottawa knows best. We always have believed that working with folks on the ground, locally elected representatives who tell us and who know best what the needs of their communities are.”

Trudeau said there are a number of new mayors in the Lower Mainland who will be discussing their plans.

“And I can commit that the federal government will be there as a partner as they determine their priorities,” he added.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fundraiser for housefire victim up to $4K

Komi Pelawelo and his son were not home that Saturday morning when a blaze broke out on Slack Road.

Flash mobs for the protest era

Observations by Resource Works’ Stewart Muir on LNG’s brusque rite of passage into resource radicalism

Author warns of dangerous goods being carried by rail

Bruce Campbell wrote book on Lac-Mégantic disaster, in Smithers Jan. 23.

Telkwa council briefs

Only a quarter of residents are using the Village recycling program.

Little Shop of Horrors back in Hazelton after 22 years

Hazelton Secondary School puts on four performces starting Saturday. Tickets on sale now.

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read