New N95 respirator manufacturing facility coming to Ontario
The Ontario and federal governments are partnering with 3M Canada to expand its Brockville, Ont. manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators.
At an Aug. 21 news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford appeared to announce that both levels of government are investing $23.33 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million.
The province said the expanded facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond.
“In the face of a global pandemic, I vowed as Premier that we would do everything we can to get the essential supplies we need to protect our heroic healthcare and frontline workers in the province,” said Ford in a statement.
“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.”
Both levels of government 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 health care workers in Ontario and across Canada. The respirators will be shared equally between Ontario and Ottawa.
The project is expected to create 30 jobs in Brockville, including production operators, maintenance technicians, process engineers, supervisors and quality assurance professionals.
“Our health care workers have been on the front lines of our country’s fight against COVID-19 since the very beginning,” said Trudeau in a statement.
“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.”
The province says the first Ontario-made N95 masks will be available in early 2021. Until that time, 3M will continue to rely on its global supply chain for mask supply in Canada.
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