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New $12M lab pledged for dairy research

Ottawa’s program to modernize Canada’s federal laboratories will put up $12 million for a new dairy complex for its Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre at Sherbrooke, Que.

The funding, announced Wednesday, will go to replace an out-of-date facility with a 6,000-square metre research complex for work on dairy food safety and nutrition at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s only dairy research site.

“Over the long term, this investment will allow for research in the dairy sector to support the sector’s competitiveness,” the government said.

The funding, flowing from the $250 million Modernizing Federal Laboratories program, is to be disbursed over two fiscal years, starting with $3.62 million in 2009-10 and the remaining $8.38 million in 2010-11.

The project is expected to create about 50 jobs during the construction phase. As well, the government said, the continuation of world-class scientific work in Sherbrooke may leverage new investments, plus the training and hiring of “highly qualified” personnel.

“The project design respects the growing concerns of citizens regarding architecture and the countryside, health and safety, the environment and considerations such as noise and odours with respect to harmonious co-habitation in a rural setting,” the government said.

The government’s announcement comes the week after AAFC reached an agreement with Quebec’s provincial transport ministry to cede land from the dairy and swine centre near Glenday Road for the second phase of the southern extension of A-410, a ring road bypass around Sherbrooke.

“This route will minimize the impact on DSRDC, while allowing safe operations and maintaining our ability to meet environmental obligations,” AAFC said May 15.

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