OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The federal government continues to add to the supply of personal protective agreement and related medical equipment needed to fight COVID-19.
The prime minister said Tuesday the race to accumulate what Canada needs requires a balance between shopping all over the world and continuing to bolster manufacturing capabilities at home.
“As we restart the economy, demand for supplies will go up, and Canada must be able to keep up,” Justin Trudeau said. “So whether it’s N95 masks or ICU equipment, we will continune our work with the provinces and territories on the supplies we need going forward.”
He pointed out over half the face shields acquired so far have been made by a Canadian company that expanded its workforce to help.
Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said Canada’s approach to protective equipment is two-fold: to buy aggressively and diversify supply chains.
“As a result of our government’s aggressive procurement strategy, we are now receiving millions of items of protective equipment every week, with deliveries set to continue for the months to come,” she added.
“Moving forward, our focus on diversifying supply chains, particularly in terms of domestic production, allows us to better adapt to external market volatility. In terms of procuring equipment and supplies, our plan remains to meet short-term and anticipated long-term needs as the pandemic evolves. This is why we have placed large orders in bulk, and we continue to make additional procurements to meet Canada’s immediate needs, and to prepare for the future.”
She said Canada has received 500,000 N95 masks from 3M in each of the past two months.
“And we await delivery of more,” Anand said.
The federal government has also signed a contract with Becton Dickinson Canada for 37 million syringes.