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Ontario level 4 laboratory

Dr R G Marusyk raymond.marusyk at ualberta.ca
Sun Jul 30 11:33:00 EST 1995

In article <3v6u3j$21j7 at pegasus.unm.edu>, bhjelle at unm.edu wrote:

> I'm totally disappointed to hear of the decision not
> to open the Ontario BL4 lab. Does anyone have any
> word on the reasoning behind this decision? With the
> severe shortage of facilities capable of such high-
> level containment, this is tragically shortsighted.


The new Ontario government made the final decision to not open the level 4
laboratory, but the previous government did little, if anything, to
understand or support the existence of the laboratory and the work of Dr
Mahmoud Mahdy, the lab director. What has been ignored in all of this is
the fact that the level 4 lab has existed, albeit in non-certifiable form,
for the last 15 years (during which time it was known as a D level lab
under Canadian nomenclature). By putting 5 million dollars into
modernizing the lab and making it safer, and certifiable, the previous
government put itself into a non-win situation with the media and public.
The government's choice was to not respond intelligently. The new
government, in their cost cutting mode, said no go - think of all the
money we will save!

The new Health Canada lab in Winnipeg is not scheduled to open until 1997
- no doubt with great controversy when it does, as it will be a research
lab not a health care containment lab. Heaven help us when the media gets
hold of that!

Ray Marusyk

Dr R G Marusyk
Department of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2H7
E: raymond.marusyk at ualberta.ca

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