Sudbury city council is giving $1.75 million to a new medical research centre planned for the city's south end.

That's a little shy of the $2 million the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada was asking for, but some councillors — like Andre Rivest — thought the cheque should've been even lighter than that.

He said Sudburians are looking for smoother roads, not medical research.

AMRIC students

The Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada aims to educate and train students and postdoctoral fellows. The Sudbury based institute asked the city for a $2 million investment to help the organization build a facility. The city has approved $1.75 million. (AMRIC)

"Let's not divert from what our taxpayers are wanting us to do,” he said.

“I'm not saying this in a silly way, but we can't be Santa Claus for everything."

City councillor Terry Kett disagreed.

"This is economic development. This is what this is,” he said. “This is very much the city's job. We are doing what we are supposed to be doing."

He said this is the next step in Sudbury's transition from being known as a mining town.

Many city councillors compared the health research centre to other big Sudbury projects the city has given millions of dollars to, including Science North and the medical school.

The health research centre, which is tied to the Sudbury hospital, is now hoping to land $10 million more from the provincial and federal governments.