Canadian businesses and manufacturers are stepping up to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is working with these companies to ensure our health care workers have the tools they need to care for Canadians across the country.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced progress under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19, which increases Canada’s ability to respond to the outbreak with necessary medical equipment and supplies.
The Government of Canada is investing $2 billion to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment, including for bulk purchases with provinces and territories. Personal protective equipment includes things like more masks and face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer.
On March 20, 2020, the Government of Canada called on Canadian businesses and manufacturers to help deliver critical health supplies. Since then, the government has spoken directly with almost 3,000 Canadian companies that have offered their expertise and capacity to meet the country’s need for personal protective equipment and critical health supplies.
The Government of Canada has signed new procurement agreements with Canadian companies Thornhill Medical, Medicom, and Spartan Bioscience to purchase and boost capacity to manufacture equipment and supplies including portable ventilators, surgical masks, and rapid testing kits. The government has ordered millions of supplies to ease the pressure on health care facilities. It has also signed letters of intent with five companies – Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group Ltd., Irving Oil, Calko Group, and Stanfield’s – to produce additional test kits, hand sanitizer, and protective apparel including masks and gowns.
The government welcomes the cooperation of other companies and industries that have answered the call to action and offered their support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes efforts from companies to re-tool their facilities and double their production capacity, to collect and donate existing supplies and equipment, and to combine resources to manufacture needed supplies more quickly. Companies like Magna, General Motors, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Ford, Linamar, Shell, Suncor, Alibaba Group, and The Home Depot have helped Canada’s health care professionals by donating personal protective and safety equipment and sanitizing supplies.
In addition, $50 million has been made available in funding for members of the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster to develop and scale-up new, in-demand technologies, equipment, and medical products. This includes technologies and products to test and treat Canadians, such as novel virus detection tests, vaccines, therapeutics, and symptom management treatments. It also includes medical equipment to care for Canadians, such as ventilators, peripherals, personal protective equipment, and cleaning and sterilization chemicals and equipment.
These measures are part of the larger strategy the Government of Canada is implementing to protect Canadians and prevent the spread of the virus. Collaboration with Canadian manufacturing and innovation is an important part of this strategy, which will ultimately result in better health and safety for Canadians, as well as a more resilient health care system.