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

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Grand Forks to receive business recovery funds post-flood

The community will receive two Rural Dividends grants for a total of $655,000.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Chocolate lab missing along Coquihalla

Brad Gibson is asking for help locating his missing dog.

B.C. connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

First ski hill in B.C. opened this weekend

Sun Peaks, near Kamloops, was the first ski hill in the province to open for season

$50k fine and community service for Vancouver Island tax evader

David Gonyea was given a nine-month conditional sentence

Most Read