A great day at Deep Bay – A visit from the Prime Minister

w oyster shell

Under brilliant sunshine and bathed in warm ocean breezes Wednesday, September 8, 2010 will long be remembered by the staff of the Centre for Shellfish Research and Vancouver Island University as Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a surprise visit to the Deep Bay Field Station.   A large motorcade of black SUV’s and limousines, imposing security detail and RCMP officers marked his arrival.  Dr. Ralph Nilson VIU President and Vice Chancellor and Mike Brown, VIU Board Chair were on hand to greet the Prime Minister along with Don Tillapaugh and Brian Kingzett from the CSR and local MP Dr. James Lunney.

Dr. Nilson thanked the Prime Minister for taking the time to visit the Deep Bay Field Station which is a flagship project of VIU and demonstrates VIU’s leadership in supporting sustainable economic development of coastal communities along Vancouver Island and throughout coastal British Columbia.  Prime Minister Harper was interested to learn the history of Vancouver Island University and its uniqueness as an educational institution that supports both trades and academic training.  The recent construction of the 40 ft aluminum catamaran MV Chetlo by the VIU aluminum boat building program students using Canada Foundation for Innovation funding received for the Field Station highlighted this point for the Prime Minister.

Brian describing shellfish industry

Looking out onto beautiful Baynes Sound and the working waterfront of shellfish farming activity that can be viewed from all points in the Field Station, Brian Kingzett explained the importance of this area to the shellfish industry, the $20million in sustainable annual economic value and the associated jobs.

Throughout his conversations with the Prime Minister, Don Tillapaugh emphasized the importance of federal science and technology programs to the development of the CSR and the Deep Bay Field Station as well as all of the research activities conducted in support of the shellfish aquaculture industry such as our AIMAP sponsored raft program. (See list below).   Tillapaugh went on to explain the strategic importance of the public education and engagement programming that will be undertaken at the Field Station.  The Prime Minister was very interested in the culinary theme (beach to bistro) and marine science education.

PM in lab with Helen#50CD4D

Dr. Helen Gurney-Smith fielded the Prime Minister’s questions about the shellfish displayed in a small aquarium, and explained her research on genomics and new species development.

PM and John Hemsworth

Field Station project architect John Hemsworth discussed the sustainability aspects of the building including wood components and the ocean geothermal technology that will provide heating.

Group photo with crew
Prime Minister Harper took the time to meet and shake hands with both the VIU representatives at the event as well as the Field Station construction crew and insisted on group pictures to mark the event for everyone.  The smiling faces shown in the accompanying pictures tell the real story of the day.

Background

The Deep Bay Field Station is one of 200 research infrastructure projects funded as part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program rolled out under the federal economic stimulus package in 2009.  The Field Station is unique in Canada due to its rural nature, clam shell shape, intended LEED Platinum design and multipurpose function. .

Federal programs supporting the Centre for Shellfish Research and the Deep Bay Field Station

  • Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP)
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • Genome Canada (through Genome BC)
  • Western Economic Diversification (WED)
  • National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • DFO Aquaculture Research and Development Program (DFO- ACRDP)
  • DFO Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (DFO- AIMAP)

Not our average arrival

The motorcade – which got all the gossip going when they did a dry run the day before.

Meeting the Group

overview

Giving an overview in front of the media

Media

w oyster shell

The PM was interested as is everyone else about our oyster shell driveway and showed it off to the media.

at entrance

On the new temporary entrance ramp where everyone is actually getting a chuckle at the crew (next photo) skylined on the ridge before they came down and met the PM.

Crew on the hill

Simon meets the PM

Simon, Carpenter for Heatherbrae meeting the PM who took time to talk to all the crew at the end after the media had left. We really appreciate the work that the great team did to get ready and their patience with all the interruptions that this visit caused.

PM with Ralph, Don, #50CAE9

Upstairs on our few days old new floor – note the plywood over air circulation vents which we had hurriedly covered up lest someone went through.

PM and CSR staff

Don discussing shellfish industry in sound

Note the very serious bodyguards.

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4 Responses to “A great day at Deep Bay – A visit from the Prime Minister”

  1. Patti Willis Says:

    I followed with interest the recent visit of Prime Minister Harper to the field station. In media reportage following the visit, there was some mention of the amount that the Federal Government has contributed to this project. I believe I heard $2-3 million. Could you please confirm this?
    I would also be interested to learn of any BC Provincial Government contribution towards establishment of the field station and its programs.
    Many thanks.

    • bkingzett Says:

      Hi Patti,

      Federal programs supporting the Centre for Shellfish Research and the Deep Bay Field Station include.

      * Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP)
      * Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
      * Genome Canada (through Genome BC)
      * Western Economic Diversification (WED)
      * National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
      * DFO Aquaculture Research and Development Program (DFO- ACRDP)
      * DFO Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (DFO- AIMAP)

      Specifically approximately $3.3 Million has been contributed to the construction of the Field Station by the Federal Government. The provincial government through the BC Knowledge Development Fund the the Knowledge Infrastructure Program have contributed approximately $3 Million. VIU has also received funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.

  2. VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station hosts international seafood experts « VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station Updates Says:

    […] 62 kilometres northwest of Nanaimo, has already attracted national and international attention. Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured the facility during final stages of construction in […]

  3. Phil Says:

    Hi,

    Great to see such a fine facilityin the area. Wondering wht there was no license to study sea cucmber farming when there is siuch a large interest in farming this species in Baynes sound on a huge tenure?


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