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New federal funding a ‘pleasant surprise’ for TRIUMF physics lab

Former TRIUMF director Nigel Lockyer explains the TIGRESS gamma-ray spectrometer in Vancouver in June 2010.

Lyle Stafford/The Globe and Mail

TRIUMF, Canada's national physics laboratory based in Vancouver, will have another half-decade of financial security because Tuesday's federal budget set aside $222-million over five years for the highly regarded lab.

The news was a "pleasant surprise," because TRIUMF's current funding was not set to expire until 2015, said Tim Meyer, head of strategic planning and communication for the laboratory.

"One of the challenges of a five-year commitment is every few years the lab runs up to a 'fiscal cliff,' and our operations hang in the balance of future funding," Mr. Meyer said. "We see this early signal as an indicator of the government's commitment to TRIUMF, and to science and innovation across the country."

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Mr. Meyer said TRIUMF's goal for the next five years is to make Canada "the go-to nation for isotope research." as well as advancing the facility's international partnerships, including research on the Higgs Boson particle in Switzerland.

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