Feds and province partner in guaranteeing N95 masks

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Ontario and the federal government are partnering with 3M Canada to expand its Brockville manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators.

Ford, Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Both levels of government are investing $23.33 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million. The expanded facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond.

“Early on in this pandemic, Premier Ford pledged that Ontario’s frontline heroes would never again have to worry about PPE supplies. When he said that, I knew 3M and our community could be part of the solution and I was determined to help make it happen,” said Steve Clark. “Today is a dream come true from those early and ongoing conversations I had with the company, the Premier and Minister Fedeli. We’re sending a message to healthcare workers and staff on the frontlines everywhere that we have their backs.”

“In the face of a global pandemic, I vowed as Premier that we would do everything we can to get the essential supplies we need to protect our heroic healthcare and frontline workers in the province,” said Premier Ford. “Ontario is a manufacturing powerhouse and our joint investment with the federal government and 3M Canada shows we can make the best N95 respirators anywhere in the world to supply our frontline heroes here in Ontario and right across Canada.”

The Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada reached a five-year agreement with 3M for the provision of 50 million respirators annually beginning in early 2021 to meet current demand for frontline healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada.

The project is expected to create 30 jobs in Brockville, including production operators; maintenance technicians; process engineers; supervisors; and quality assurance professionals.

“Our health care workers have been on the front lines of our country’s fight against COVID-19 since the very beginning,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “While the virus remains a threat, we need to make sure these real-life heroes have the equipment they need. This agreement with 3M Canada highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting those who are doing so much to keep their fellow Canadians healthy and safe.”

“N95s are the respirators our health professionals and frontline workers depend on while they’re battling COVID-19,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario’s partnership with 3M and the federal government will provide a made-in-Ontario solution to reduce our dependence on foreign supply chains while strengthening our domestic supply chain and further expanding our world-class manufacturing capacity.”

The partnership between the provincial and federal governments and 3M Canada is an important step to meeting current and future needs and ensuring a readily available stockpile of N95 respirators. This investment is essential in the creation of new manufacturing capabilities, new jobs, and a strengthened domestic supply chain for vital PPE as Ontario continues on its path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of increasing the availability of N95 respirators in North America. We are extremely proud to deliver a made-in-Canada solution that strengthens the North American region’s supply of PPE for healthcare workers, first responders and those in critical infrastructure and industry roles,” said Penny Wise, President of 3M Canada. “We thank both the Canadian and Ontario governments for their close collaboration on this effort and share their goal of protecting Canadians.”

Once the Brockville facility is fully operational, it is expected that the first Ontario-made N95 masks will be available in Q1, 2021. Until that time, 3M will continue to rely on its global supply chain for mask supply in Canada.

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