The Ontario and Federal governments are partnering with 3M Canada to expand its Brockville, Ontario manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators.
Provincial officials say 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.
The announcement was made on Friday, August 21, 2020 on the site of the expansion by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“Our health care workers have been on the front lines of our country’s fight against COVID-19 since the very beginning,” stated Prime Minister Trudeau in a press release.
“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.”
Premier Ford said in the face of a global pandemic, he vowed as Premier that Ontario would do everything they could to get the essential supplies needed to protect “our heroic healthcare and frontline workers” in the province.
“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,” Ford said in a press release.
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 respirators will be shared equally between Ontario and Ottawa, provincial officials say.
The project is expected to create 30 jobs in Brockville, Ontario, including production operators, maintenance technicians, process engineers, supervisors and quality assurance professionals.
“N95s are the respirators our health professionals and frontline workers depend on while they’re battling COVID-19,” stated Minister Fedeli in a media release.
“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.”
Once the Brockville facility is fully operational, it is expected that the first Ontario-made N95 masks will be available in Q1, 2021, provincial officials say.
Until that time, 3M will continue to rely on its global supply chain for mask supply in Canada.