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

Global Climate Strike comes to Maple Ridge

Small group pickets outside city hall

Maple Ridge has new top administrator

Council names new CAO on Thursday

Petition says pot-grow stench led to ‘Summer of Stink’ in Fraser Valley

Province urged to ‘Stop the Smell’ in the Fraser Valley

Maple Ridge Ale Trail combines craft beer and the outdoors

The community launch takes place September 21 at the Haney Farmers Market

Maple Ridge man, 61, awarded high honours in Victoria

Jonathan Smyth was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many of the protesters were children and youth who skipped school to take part in the demonstrations.

Vancouver police get green light to use drones for investigations

Drones will be used to investigate motor vehicle collisions, crime scene analysis and more

‘Not acceptable’: Ad mistakenly suggests Abbotsford police endorse Liberal candidate

Jati Sidhu said advertisement only appeared for 30 minutes and was created by Montreal company

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

UPDATE: Abbotsford erases skate park graffiti mural honouring student killed in car crash

Many in community angry at city’s move after saying art wouldn’t be immediately removed

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Most Read