Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged people to buy “made in Ontario” products in order to support local manufacturers and have a sustainable provincial economy.
On Friday, Ford gave an impassioned speech on supporting Ontario made products adding that with a rapidly-shifting economic landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting workers and goods in the province is vital.
“When I see our neighbours to the south threatening us with tariffs after signing a groundbreaking trade agreement, it’s clear that we are in the fight of our lives,” Ford said.
“We are competing against every jurisdiction in the world.”
Using the pandemic as an example, Ford said that with a shortage of critical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) the province asked manufacturers to retool.
To date, the Ontario Together portal has created 26 million gowns, 175 million surgical gloves, 123 million masks, four million face shields, and over 10,000 ventilators.
“Today, we no longer have to rely on any other country or leader for our vital PPE. We can make it right here in Ontario and we’re going to keep stockpiling to make sure we’re ready for anything,” the premier said.
He added that consumers can also change their buying habits to buy locally, which could mean billions of dollars staying in the province rather than leaving the borders to China and the US.
The Ontario government said they are “proud to support” the launch of the Ontario Made program from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
This new program is said to promote various goods that are made across the province by helping consumers identify, access and purchase local products.
Funding for Ontario Made is made possible through the $50 million Ontario Together Fund launched on April 1.
This funding will be used to help retailers and consumers identify local products by creating a new Ontario Made logo that manufacturers can use to help consumers identify their made-in-Ontario products.
CME will also meet with major retailers to promote Ontario Made products in-store and increase visibility for customers.
There will also be the launch of a new SupportOntarioMade.ca
And, an emphasis on promoting Ontario Made through a digital newsletter to raise awareness of Ontario goods and products online and through social media.