The Province of Ontario has announced $50 million in funding to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies for frontline workers tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said that the money will go towards the Ontario Together Fund which will bring together businesses from across the industry to create new medical gear like gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment, and ventilators.
The government recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support of Ontario’s manufacturing sector, will produce 10,000 ventilator units.
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“Ontario has an army of innovators, entrepreneurs, and the hardest-working people in the world ready to roll up their sleeves, support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus,” Ford said.
“This mass mobilization of government, business, communities and private citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe and healthy represents one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ontario in generations.”
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade have worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada.
The $50 million fund will support business submissions, so the province can act quickly to make these supplies.
“The Ontario Together Fund will help companies retool, build capacity or adopt the technological changes needed to produce supplies and equipment for hospitals, long-term care homes, and other critical public services.”
On March 25, the provincial government announced a $17 billion aid package for all sectors in Ontario with an additional $3.3 billion announced on March 26, for the healthcare sector.
The action plan includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs.
The province said it also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.