On February 7th Research and Innovation Minister John Wilkinson and I announced $22.9 million in funding for research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on Bayview Avenue.
The funding will support work to develop better imaging tools to diagnose, monitor and treat cardiovascular disease and work to explore the use of focused ultrasound surgery for conditions from soft tissue tumours to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's.
We are privileged to have an institution as innovative as Sunnybrook in Don Valley West that is conducting ground-breaking medical research. I believe that it is important that we as a government step forward to support institutions like Sunnybrook in the work that they do.
By supporting the work done at Sunnybrook, we create research opportunities in the immediate term that will lead to better patient outcomes in our community and around the province, and give Ontarians the opportunity to market our health innovations around the world. For those reasons, supporting research and the commercialization of that research is good government policy at any time.
In my view, at a time when we face a more challenging economic situation, it’s a key way that government can contribute to the strengthening of our economy. Finding strategic ways to support economic development, in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, green energy, and medical research has been a key part of our government’s work to support Ontario’s economy. But the provincial government alone cannot provide Ontario’s economy with the support it needs.
Particularly in relation to our manufacturing sector that faces the simultaneous challenges of a high Canadian dollar and a weakening U.S. market for our export goods, but also in areas like green energy and medical research, for Ontario to be at its best, we need the Federal Government to step up to the plate for Ontario. Of late, the federal government has taken the view that they do not have an active role to play in supporting economic development. That’s just not good enough.
So, as you may know, Premier McGuinty and Economic Development and Trade Minister Pupatello have been actively lobbying the Federal Government for economic development assistance for Ontario. We will continue to do that work, including investing in research at Sunnybrook, until such time as the federal government once again steps forward to work in partnership with Ontario for a strong Ontario economy.