The Ontario and federal governments are partnering with 3M Canada to produce 50 million N95 respirators annually over the next five years.
On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford announced that they will be expanding 3M Canada’s Brockville, Ontario manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators.
Both levels of government are investing $23.33 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million.
According to the province, 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.
“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.”
Ford added that this moment was his “proudest” as premier, as Ontario will never have to rely on other countries for PPE.
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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 the current demand for frontline healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada.
The respirators will also be shared equally between Ontario and Ottawa.
“Our health care workers have been on the front lines of our country’s fight against COVID-19 since the very beginning,” said Trudeau.
“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.”
Until the Brockville plant is ready in 2021, 3M will continue to rely on its global supply chain for mask supply in Canada.