Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recognized a Chatham-Kent business on Tuesday, April 7, during his daily address to the nation.
As part of a recognition of Canadian businesses and manufacturers, who are stepping up in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Trudeau recognized AutoLiv, a manufacturing business located in Tilbury.
“Canadian companies are answering the call to protect our health care professionals with made-in-Canada solutions,” Trudeau said in a press release.
“This is exactly the kind of innovative, collaborative thinking we need to respond to this rapidly evolving pandemic. By increasing our support for secure, Canadian sources of needed materials and equipment, we will be able to help our health care workers protect themselves, treat patients, and slow the spread of this virus.”
Federal officials say the government has signed a letter of intent to support AutoLiv “as it works to repurpose material traditionally used for air bags to provide additional fabric for medical gowns.
“Using these alternative materials will significantly increase the number of medical gowns that can be made in Canada,” Federal officials say
The Government of Canada is working with companies across the country to make sure medical supplies and equipment needed to keep Canadians safe and healthy is available.
Under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID‑19, the Government of Canada is building a secure, domestic supply of needed items to protect frontline health workers as they fight this global pandemic, Federal officials say.
On top of the agreement with AutoLiv, nearly 5,000 Canadian companies have offered their expertise and capacity and the Government of Canada is working together on projects that include:
– Purchasing made-in-Canada ventilators from Thornhill Medical, CAE, Ventilators for Canadians, and StarFish Medical and other manufacturing partners, including Linamar, through an accelerated process. The Government of Canada is working with these companies to produce up to 30,000 ventilators. These purchases will help secure increased domestic capacity in producing these life-saving machines.
– Working with one of Canada’s Nobel Prize-winning researchers, Dr. Art McDonald, who is leading a team of scientists at national laboratories TRIUMF, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, and SNOLAB to develop an easy-to-produce ventilator using off-the-shelf, easily accessible parts. The goal is to develop a ventilator model to meet current needs that can be constructed quickly and reliably in Canada.
– Using innovative alternative materials, which have been authorized through Health Canada’s expedited regulatory process, to augment the supply of medical gowns. Stanfield’s Limited will use a fabric developed by Intertape Polymer Group to supply protective medical gowns. The Government of Canada has signed a purchase order with Stanfield’s, which will use its Canadian manufacturing platform to fulfill the order.
– Establishing and securing new supply chains to produce medical gowns from new Canadian sources. The Government of Canada has signed letters of intent with a total of 22 apparel manufacturers, including Arc’teryx and Canada Goose, to produce needed medical gowns for Canadian health care workers using newly-sourced Canadian material.
– Purchasing and producing masks to protect our health care workers. The Government of Canada has placed orders for millions of surgical masks from various companies, including Medicom, Surgo Surgical Supply, and Breathe Medical. The government is also supporting Medicom’s work to increase its capacity to produce tens of millions more surgical and N95 masks per year right here in Canada.
– Purchasing hand sanitizer from Canadian companies, including Fluid Energy Group Ltd. and Irving Oil. The Government of Canada is also supporting the Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing Exchange established by Cosmetics Alliance Canada, the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association, and Spirits Canada. In addition, the government is working to increase hand sanitizer supply by matchmaking companies, and by identifying and guiding new producers through the licencing and procurement process. In the last three weeks, Health Canada has expedited the authorization of more than 400 new hand sanitizer products to help limit the spread of COVID‑19.
Federal officials say complementary to these domestic efforts, the Government of Canada is also working through over 22,000 submissions to Public Services and Procurement Canada from companies interested or able to sell to Canada.
All efforts are being made to secure contracts and deliveries as quickly as possible.
The Government of Canada welcomes the cooperation of all companies who have offered to re-tool, repurpose, and innovate to fight COVID‑19, Federal officials say.
“Our partnerships with Canadian industry in particular will help us produce needed supplies and equipment domestically, provide Canadians with the fastest possible access to safe and effective health products, strengthen our health care system, and better protect the health and safety of all Canadians,” Federal officials added.
On March 31, 2020, the Government of Canada announced additional funding of $2-billion to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment, including for bulk purchases with provinces and territories, Federal officials say.
Personal protective equipment includes things like more masks and face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer.
The Government of Canada launched a call to action under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID‑19, and has deployed industry and innovation programming, such as the National Research Council Concierge Service, to support companies in rapidly scaling their production capacity in Canada, Federal officials added.