Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/11/2012 (1264 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Readers had unkind things to say about both the NDP government and IMRIS Inc. when the firm announced it was packing up its Winnipeg operation and moving to Minneapolis.
No big deal. The half that don't move can get on at the new Target at Polo Park and if not there I am certain that a Dollarama in their neighbourhood could use a hand or two over the Christmas season. This is the path and future that the NDP has for Winnipeggers. We had our chance to get rid of them last year and didn't so now you reap what you sow.
I guess now that the corporate welfare has run out, they are off to find handouts elsewhere.
-- Spence Furby
For those in the know, this private company and the technology behind it was funded by public tax funds through the National Research Council. This money was diverted from many real scientific research projects. Now that the company is established, it is being moved to out of the country to benefit only the company and a non-Canadian economy. By rights, the taxpayers should be substantial shareholders in this company. It was after all our money that was used in its development.
This is the direct fallout of Harper's decision to cut scientific research in Canada. BRAIN DRAIN.
Unfortunately this has been a long time coming. IMRIS has benefitted from fairly large government subsidies of several sorts but just could not make a go of it in a competitive business environment. The choice to focus on low volume (and demand) equipment at huge costs was ultimately a poor one, particularly in this belt-tightening environment. There just is not a strong enough use case for their equipment at the price it is sold at. They are hemorrhaging. I suspect this is a consolidation in the hopes it will make them more attractive for purchase by a larger corporation.
When one considers that over 10 per cent of Manitoba's population is a direct government position while the national average is less than eight per cent, it is small wonder that high-paying jobs are leaving the province. Current estimates are that the extra public sector jobs are costing Manitoba over $1 billion per year. And who is going to pay for that? Not IMRIS, I see.
Any potential buyer of IMRIS would be wise to do more due diligence than Nortel did when they bought BNI from Graves... which evaporated into the smoke and mirrors it was within a year of buying it. I'm sure Graves laughed all the way to the bank.
Nice job supporting the local medical tech sector NDP. NRC shut down, major layoffs at Cangene, DiaMedica and now IMRIS moves to Minneapolis and Monteris hires Minneapolis-based CEO...
Wasn't David Graves the guy who was one of the partners on the building of the new arena but he bailed out late in the game because he couldn't come up with the money?
Another nail in the coffin for the province's so-called innovation strategy, which focused on life sciences. How many tax dollars were plowed into this firm through grants and R&D tax credits so it can take off down south?
Exactly the kind of company and jobs we would like to keep here. Pity Canada can't be more forward thinking and recognize the value of investing in R&D instead of cutting the funding.
-- Everybody Up
With the NRC shutting down, there's no point in IMRIS hanging around here. All the important research, and those capable of doing it, will go elsewhere. Sure, the Harper Government is all about jobs. How many have they killed in Manitoba so far?