Tornado Medical Systems CEO Stefan Larson says he'll have more to say on Friday about the sudden closure of the company's Thunder Bay laboratory.
0 Percent for 6 Years on 2013 RVR's and OutlandersGood things don't last forever and the deals on these vehicles won't either. Visit Thunder Bay Mitsubishi today!www.thunderbaymitsubishi.ca
After taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funds, Tornado Medical Systems appears to have abruptly closed its doors in Thunder Bay.
Company CEO Stefan Larson, reached by phone in Toronto on Thursday, confirmed to Thunder Bay Television the research company’s Thunder Bay laboratory, located on the refurbished sixth floor of the Whalen Building, is no longer open for business.
He refused further comment, as did Steve Demmings, who heads the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development corporation, when contacted Thursday afternoon. The CEDC was instrumental in bringing the Toronto-based company to Thunder Bay.
When media arrived at their Thunder Bay office, a lone employee was manning the front desk, and told a Dougall Media reporter there would be no comment until at least Friday.
Mayor Keith Hobbs, in Quebec City for talks on the Great Lakes, hadn't even heard the news when contacted by TB Newswatch. Needless to say he wasn't happy.
"It is pretty bad when I have to hear this from a media source This comes as a shock to me. Tornado Medical Systems is a huge cornerstone to the research cluster in Thunder Bay. They will be missed."
In March FedNor Minister Tony Clement announced a loan of $363,348 to the company to help develop a prototype of an imaging device that would allow surgeons to scan breast tumour tissue that’s been removed to ensure the cancerous tissue was completely removed. Renovations to the the sixth floor of the Whalen Building cost an addtional $1.1 million, money provided by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
Tornado Medical Systems released an official statement Friday.
In the statement, the company confirms that it had laid off nine engineers, including six from Thunder Bay, as part of its restructuring of one of its product development projects.
The company statement adds that the specific project is partially funded by loans from the provincial and federal governments. All other aspects of Tornado’s business remain unaffected, including collaborations with the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.
The company was launched in 2009 with the goal of transforming cancer care.
Along with the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, it was also one of the crown jewels in the city’s plan to transform its economy from resource- to knowledge-based.
At the time company officials promised 50 jobs to start, with as many as 300 being created by 2013.