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Harper Government to Enhance Animal Health Testing Services across Western Canada

April 10, 2013
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Minister Yelich with (left to right) Dr. Murray Jelinski, Marilyn Jonas and Dr. Harold Fast, following the funding announcement.

Minister Yelich with (left to right) Dr. Murray Jelinski, Marilyn Jonas and Dr. Harold Fast, following the funding announcement.

Corresponding Documents: Speech | Photo Gallery

Veterinarians and animal producers in Western Canada will have access to new and enhanced diagnostic testing services to support disease identification and surveillance thanks to federal funding announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

"Our Government is committed to helping businesses develop and maintain a competitive advantage," said Minister Yelich. "A strong private sector and regional economies are crucial to job creation and long-term prosperity for Canadians."

With a $585,000 investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS) purchased equipment to support the development of new testing for toxins in animal feeds, and enhance existing services in other areas. The increased testing capabilities will allow PDS to better help western Canadian producer groups meet international regulatory standards.

For example, tests for detecting bacteria and viruses using molecular biology techniques will be expanded. This testing methodology is playing an increasingly important role in the early diagnosis of serious diseases, including avian and swine influenza.

"PDS is very excited about the opportunity that this investment provides," says CEO Marilyn Jonas. "The new services will enhance the value of our laboratory to Western Canada's animal production and veterinary community by expanding the breadth and depth of our diagnostic capability and expertise. We see this as important for individual clients and as a key component of our broader role in animal disease detection and surveillance in the western Canadian region, and in Canada as a whole."

The Harper Government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

Since 2006, the Harper Government, through WD, has invested in job-creating small- and medium-sized businesses, aerospace, marine and defence industries, and supported innovative entrepreneurs in pursuing emerging markets. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities, WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

For additional information, contact:

Jerra Kosick
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-617-8467
Email: Jerra.Kosick@wd-deo.gc.ca

Marilyn Jonas
Prairie Diagnostic Services
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Telephone: 306-966-7248
Email: Marilyn.jonas@pds.usask.ca

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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