Justin Trudeau announces $2 billion in spending to procure more medical equipment


At a March 31 press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will spend $2 billion to procure more medical equipment in a bid to help health care workers cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

After providing a brief update on Canada's ongoing investigation into the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 crash that took place in Iran on Jan. 8, Trudeau told reporters that the government is moving forward with its plans to mobilize private companies to rejig their manufacturing facilities to produce medical equipment. 

Trudeau told reporters that the government has spoken to close to 3,000 companies that are willing to help produce a variety of medically-essential goods, including masks, testing kits and ventilators. He also said the government has signed contracts with several businesses who will begin manufacturing equipment. 

Trudeau said the country's manufacturing supercluster will be leading companies in scaling up new technologies to test and treat Canadians affected by COVID-19, adding that it's crucial that Canada produces as much of its own medical equipment as possible. 

"We need a sustainable, stable supply of these products. That means making them at home, and we're optimistic that they'll be available in the coming weeks," Trudeau told reporters. 

Acknowledging that the government is preparing for worst-case scenarios, Trudeau reminded Canadians that less medical equipment will be needed if residents stay home as much as possible to avoid getting sick and/or infecting other people. 

Trudeau told reporters that equipment will be allocated to provinces and territories on an as-needed basis, adding that the government consults medical and provincial partners before deciding what equipment will be sent where.

Cover photo courtesy of The Canadian Press

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