Ontario Premier Doug Ford is going on an Ontario tour to thank local communities and businesses that have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, standing outside of Eclipse Innovations Inc. in Cambridge, Ontario, Ford said he will be visiting over 5,000 km of the province and visit as many communities as he can.
“I can’t wait to thank everyone who has stepped up over the past few months,” Ford said.
“Whether it was making PPE for frontline workers, keeping supply chains strong, or helping those in needs, we want to recognize these people.”
The premier said he wants to hear directly from the people of Ontario and see firsthand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on local businesses and communities.
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“We won’t stop until every worker is back on their feet and hear directly from them on how we can support them.”
He added that he especially wants to meet with businesses who retooled and joined the fight against the virus.
Eclipse Automation is one such company, the parent company of Eclipse Innovations which was born out of the pandemic. The manufacturing company retooled to create PPE and other medical supplies like N95 respirators and medical masks.
“We will never again be left at the mercy of other counties and other leaders for vital PPE and equipment,” Ford said.
Which is why the provincial government is investing $1.4 million from the Ontario Together fund to scale up its operations to manufacture made-in-Ontario N95 masks.
This investment is part of the government’s plan to increase the capacity of Ontario-made PPE, while supporting local businesses during the safe and gradual reopening of the province.
N95 respirators are considered a very effective form of PPE as it filters 95% of airborne particles, making it highly effective in protecting the wearer from airborne pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria that could damage the respiratory tract.
By adding this new capacity, Eclipse Innovations will be able to make one million N95 respirators per week, which will help serve domestic market demand as the province continues to reopen.
On Monday, Ford announced that 24 regions in the province can enter Stage 3 on Friday.