Creating Jobs and Benefitting Science: Government of Canada Invests in Upgrading Local Federal Laboratories



    GUELPH, ON, May 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of
Human Resources and Skills Development and MP Joe Preston
(Elgin-Middlesex-London) today announced more than $7.5 million in funding,
over the next two years, to modernize three local federal laboratories.
    In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government
committed to an accelerated investment program to provide $250 million, over
the next two years, to modernize federal laboratories. The funding, one of the
many job-creating investments in the Economic Action Plan, will improve these
facilities while providing economic stimulus in regions across the country.
    "This program is addressing important maintenance issues in our
laboratories and will quickly bring economic stimulus to this region," said
Minister Finley. "This funding will provide jobs for workers ranging from
retrofitting laboratory space to meet new and future research activities to
refurbishing sewage lines and upgrading laboratory stations to accommodate
modern equipment."
    "Our government is making smart investments that will create jobs and
improve research facilities that will keep our farmers at the cutting edge,"
said Mr. Preston. "The new facility will enhance research and development,
resulting in even better health and safety outcomes for Canadians."

    
    The facilities being upgraded in the region are:

    - Centre for Inland Waters Hydraulics Laboratory (Environment Canada) -
      $4,196,000
    - Wastewater Technology Centre (Environment Canada) - $2,386,000
    - Guelph Food Research Centre (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) -
      $1,150,000

    "The Environment Canada projects will help maintain and further the
excellence of my department's world-class scientific activities," said the
Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment.
    To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan visit
www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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                                 Backgrounder
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                       Modernizing Federal Laboratories

    There are about 200 federal laboratories and scientific facilities in
Canada. Activities at these laboratories include research, testing and
regulatory services in areas such as health, safety, security, the economy,
transportation, environmental protection, heritage and culture.
    In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government
committed to an accelerated investment program to provide $250 million, over
the next two years, to address deferred maintenance at federal laboratories.
    This accelerated investment program is providing needed funds to address
maintenance issues at federal laboratories and will provide economic stimulus
in regions across the country. Service providers will be needed to address
maintenance issues ranging from replacement of roofs, ventilation systems and
boilers, to the updating of electrical systems.
    In addition, the federal science community will benefit from updated
laboratories where health and safety issues have been addressed. The quality
of scientific activities in these laboratories will be enhanced because they
will be better suited to modern scientific practice. This improved science and
technology capacity will contribute to better health and safety outcomes for
Canadians.

    Project selection process

    Federal departments and agencies were invited to submit proposals to the
President of the Treasury Board which were reviewed against criteria set out
in Budget 2009, including:

    -  Projects must be completed by March 31, 2011.
    -  Projects must addressed maintenance issues in federal laboratories.
    -  Laboratories must contribute to core federal regulatory
       responsibilities, advance science and technology capacity and/or
       contribute to enhance the health and safety of Canadians.
    -  Projects must provide economic stimulus.


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                                 Backgrounder
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                   Modernizing Guelph Federal Laboratories

    Project
    Guelph Food Research Centre
   
http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1180620168432&lang=eng

    Department
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

    Location
    Guelph, Ontario

    Name and function of Laboratory/ Facility

    The Guelph Food Research Centre specializes in food safety, quality and
nutrition, and is committed to ensuring that food produced in Canada continues
to be among the safest and of the highest quality in the world. Much of the
centre's research is on the nutritional and therapeutic benefits of food, as
well as developing innovative methods to reduce food-borne biological and
chemical hazards.

    Funding amount
    $1.15 million
    2009-10       $420,000
    2010-11     $730,000

    Project description

    The funding will be used to upgrade an existing pilot plant that helps
develop better food processing techniques. The pilot plant facility will
partner with federal departments such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(CFIA) and universities to validate the safety of food processing, and test
innovative processing technologies for producing safe foods. The renewal of
this facility would also help improve food processing regulation in
collaboration with CFIA, and collaborative research with the Health Protection
Branch of Health Canada. The project will create up to 10 jobs while the
upgrades are made.

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    Project
    Demolition and Retrofit of Specialized Space in Support of Hydraulics
Research
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/scitech/default.asp?lang=En&n=0B9A6436-1#nwri
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/inre-nwri/default.asp?lang=En&n=7CE9E3AC-1
    http://ec.gc.ca/scitech/default.asp?lang=En&n=AC4418A5-0

    Department
    Environment Canada

    Location
    Burlington, Ontario

    Name and function of Laboratory/ Facility

    The Canada Centre for Inland Waters is Environment Canada's preeminent
science facility with more than 300 staff. The complex consists of scientific
operations and specialized buildings located on the north side of the
Burlington Bay Canal waterway connecting Hamilton Harbour and Lake Ontario.

    Funding amount
    Amount of funding received through the Modernizing Laboratories
Initiative:
    $4,196,200
    Amount to be spent in 2009-10: $1,593,100
    Amount to be spent in 2010-11: $2,603,100


    Project description

    The project will replace the Centre's research infrastructure, including
the scientific research platform located on the Hamilton side of the
Burlington Canal. The current laboratory, designed and built in the late
1960s, will be upgraded to suit modern research practices.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Project
    Wastewater Technology Centre Infrastructure Recapitalization
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/scitech/default.asp?lang=En&n=0B9A6436-1#nwri
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/inre-nwri/default.asp?lang=En&n=7CE9E3AC-1
    http://ec.gc.ca/scitech/default.asp?lang=En&n=AC4418A5-0

    Department
    Environment Canada

    Location
    Burlington, Ontario

    Name and function of Laboratory/ Facility

    Environment Canada established the Wastewater Technology Centre in 1971 as
a key Canadian facility for the development and evaluation of treatment
technologies for municipal wastewaters. Approximately 35 employees at the
Centre engage partners from educational institutions, other government
organizations, and the private sector, and provide support to municipalities
and the environmental industry.

    Funding amount
    Amount of funding received through the Modernizing Laboratories
Initiative:
    $2,386,200
    Amount to be spent in 2009-10: $643,100
    Amount to be spent in 2010-11: $1,743,100

    Project description

    Upgrades will allow Environment Canada to conduct high-priority research
on wastewater treatment in Canada's Far North, to maintain the department's
capacity to improve wastewater treatment technologies, and to conduct advanced
research. A new layout of the facility and the refurbishing of outdated
equipment are expected to improve staff health and safety at the Centre.
    




For further information:

For further information: Meagan Murdoch, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Gerry Ritz, (613) 759-1059; Media Relations, Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, 1-866-345-7972; TTY (Telecommunications device
for the hearing impaired), (613) 957-9090


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