Ottawa allocating $2B to buy protective personal equipment
Catharine Tunney · CBC News · Posted: Mar 31, 2020 11:17 AM ET | Last Updated: 23 minutes ago- – https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-medical-supplies-procurement-1.5516068
The Canadian government says it’s ordering millions of masks and thousands of ventilators to cope with the country’s rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that his government has inked deals with three Canadian companies — Thornhill Medical, Medicom and Spartan Bioscience — to make critical medical supplies, including ventilators, surgical masks, test kits and other items, over the coming weeks
“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,” Trudeau said this morning.
“And that means making them at home and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks.”
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the government ordered 60 million N95 masks — a type of mask designed and fitted to filter out particles that carry the COVID-19 virus — which will begin arriving this week.
The federal government also has ordered close to 1,570 ventilators and more than a million COVID-19 test kits.
WATCH: ‘Made-in-Canada solutions,’ Trudeau
‘Made-in-Canada solutions’: Trudeau
- 3 hours ago
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is focusing on made-in-Canada procurement to obtain ventilators, surgical masks, test kits and other medical supplies to cope with Canada’s increasing COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks. 1:18
Anand said the government also is trying to secure an additional 4,000 ventilators — a crucial piece of equipment in a battle against a disease that attacks the lungs and can make it difficult for people to breathe on their own.
“This is all hands on deck,” she said Tuesday. “Our government is leaving no stone unturned.”
As part of the deal, Toronto-based Thornhill Medical is making 500 mobile compact ventilator systems and expects to have them out the door in early April.
“We are honoured to provide our Canadian-made ventilator system to support Canadians and our health care system in its efforts to fight COVID-19,” said Thornhill Medical CEO Lesley Gouldie.
More supplies coming
Trudeau said Ottawa also has signed letters of intent with five other companies — Precision Biomonitoring, Fluid Energy Group, Irving Oil, Calko Group and Stanfield’s — for critical supplies like hand sanitizer, tests and gowns.
“The entire world is trying to get its hands on the various equipment needed to fight this virus. That is why we know that it will be important to have made-in-Canada solutions,” he told reporters.
As part of today’s announcement, Trudeau said the government is allocating $2 billion to buy protective personal equipment in part through bulk purchases with the provinces and territories.
WATCH: Trudeau announces $2B for protective personal equipment
Trudeau announces $2B for protective personal equipment
- 3 hours ago
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government has signed deals with three Canadian companies and allocated $2 billion to make medical supplies over the coming weeks to cope with the country’s rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases. 2:14
On March 20, the federal government announced its intention to provide monetary support to manufacturers that can retool their assembly lines to make ventilators, masks and other personal protective gear, and to help those already making such products quickly scale up manufacturing capacity.
Trudeau said close to 3,000 companies have reached out to offer their help since then.
“This is a priority for our government and we will continue to source new solutions every day,” he said in his prepared remarks.
WATCH: Anand says delivery of personal protective equipment begins this week
Anand says delivery of personal protective equipment begins this week
- 2 hours ago
Public Services Minister Anita Anand spoke with reporters on Parliament Hill on Tuesday. 1:51
“We are expecting shipments to come in in the coming days and we will continue to work tirelessly to get these supplies to where they’re needed.”
Trudeau said more supplies likely will be needed — but how much will be up to Canadians themselves.
“We will need more masks, ventilators and testing kits, but how many more we need depends entirely on you,” he said.
“If you stay home and follow public health recommendations, you can slow the spread.”
International Trade Minister Mary Ng also announced earlier this month that the government is temporarily eliminating tariffs and taxes on all goods imported by public health authorities.