Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen was among 17,000 people to attend a Bio Conference in Boston last week. Goertzen says he was there as part of a Canadian delegation to make a pitch for our country and our province as great places to do medical research.

"There are lots of opportunities for Canada to become a more significant player in that particular industry, particularly in Manitoba, which has great data for clinical trials and for research. I think there's a lot more that we can do in Manitoba in terms of attracting some of that business and some of those trials and some of that research. We are a relatively small province in population with 1.2-1.3 million people, but when you're talking about research or a clinical trial, it's more than enough to get an accurate understanding of whether or not something has efficacy when it comes to research. I think there's great potential there."

Goertzen adds he took an opportunity at the conference to meet with representatives from Valeant Pharmaceuticals. He notes they are thrilled with their Steinbach operation.

"We had a good meeting, good discussion about Steinbach. They're very, very bullish on the Steinbach plant. They refer to it as one of their crown jewels. They are very impressed with the workforce. I think that they're doing a good and growing business out of the facility. In terms of any future developments for them, I would leave that for them to discuss, but I can say in our discussions, they were very optimistic about the Steinbach facility and how it's working. So that's a testament to the people who are working there from Steinbach and the surrounding area."

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