In his address on March 31, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the government is allocating $2 billion to buy protective personal equipment from Canadians companies across the country to make ventilators, surgical masks, test kits, and other medical supplies in the coming weeks.
PM Trudeau said close to 3,000 Canadian companies have stepped up to offer their expertise and capacity to meet the country’s need for personal protective equipment (PPE) since the federal government announced its strategy to call on the private sector to produce medical supplies.
“We are seeing the best of what it means to be Canadian,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday. “In tough times, we pull together. We are there for each other. We put our hands and ask: ‘How can I help?’”
At this time Thornhill Medical, Medicom and Spartan Bioscience have signed on to begin production of these critical medical supplies.
Thornhill Medical, based in the Greater Toronto Area, will be making ventilators that will arrive at hospitals and health-care facilities in early April.
Spartan Bioscience Inc. of Ottawa will provide 100 of the machines and one million test kits in the next month alone. The company is known to make portable testing kits that can produce results for in 30 minutes.
Quebec-based AMD Medicom Inc. to open a domestic manufacturing facility to make N95 protective masks and surgical masks in vast quantities for the Canadian market.
The Prime Minister further stated that the government has signed letters of intent with five other companies — Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group Ltd., Irving Oil, Calko Group and Stanfield’s — to produce additional supplies including test kits, hand sanitizer, protective gears including masks and gowns.
“We know that the demand for critical equipment and supplies will grow in the coming weeks, so we need a sustainable, stable supply of these products, and that means making them at home and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks.” said the Prime Minister during his daily address to Canadians at Rideau Cottage.
In addition to producing medical supplies in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced that the federal government will be allocating upwards of $2 billion in funding to buy protective personal equipment to combat COVID-19. The protective equipment that the government is planning to purchase includes surgical masks, face shields, gowns, ventilators, test kits, and hand sanitizer.
PM Trudeau also thanked companies that have helped the country’s health-care workers by donating protective equipment and sanitizing supplies. The list includes Magna International, General Motors of Canada Company, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd., Linamar Corp., Shell Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy, Alibaba Group and Home Depot.
As of March 31 afternoon, Canada recorded 1,028 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the national total to 8,476 confirmed cases including 1,164 recovered and 95 deaths.
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