Provincial and federal investment helps secure domestic supply chain for vital PPE
BROCKVILLE — Made-in-Ontario N95 respirators have started rolling off the production line at 3M’s Brockville plant. About 700,000 N95 respirators are being shipped from the plant this week, with the first wave of this vital PPE set to arrive at health care, education and other public-sector institutions. These new masks will provide frontline workers with the protection they need in the continued fight against COVID-19, and ensure Ontario and Canada has a reliable supply in the event of any future outbreaks.
Details were provided today by Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes; Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Government and Consumer Services; François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; and Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
“Last year, we committed to doing everything we can to increase the quantity of PPE in Ontario to support our heroic healthcare and frontline workers,” said Minister Fedeli. “Today, we celebrate a major milestone toward achieving that goal, with a made-in-Ontario solution that creates jobs along the way.”
The first shipment comes just eight months after the governments of Canada and Ontario reached a five-year agreement with 3M last August for the provision of 55 million respirators annually to meet demand for frontline healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada. Through this partnership, 3M expanded its Brockville manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators. Each level of government invested $23.33 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million.
The Brockville facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond. The project created 30 jobs in Brockville, including production operators, maintenance technicians, process engineers, supervisors and quality assurance professionals.
“Canada’s frontline health care workers have demonstrated unmeasurable feats of resilience and perseverance during this pandemic,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “It is critical to provide them with the supplies they need to ensure they can safely protect and treat Canadians. Through this investment and contribution agreement with 3M Canada, we will be securing the protective equipment they need to continue their incredible efforts, while investing in Canada’s economy by creating new job opportunities in the community.”
The partnership among the Ontario and federal governments and 3M Canada is an important step toward meeting current and future needs and ensuring a readily available stockpile of N95 respirators. This investment is essential to creating new manufacturing capabilities and jobs, and a strengthened domestic supply chain for vital PPE as Ontario continues on its path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.
Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy. Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan support now totals $51 billion.
In April 2020, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely. Ontario is investing an additional $50 million in 2021–22 to continue supporting local businesses to further enhance domestic capacity and help support the safety and security of the people of Ontario.
Businesses and individuals looking to help in the fight against COVID-19 can submit their proposals through the Ontario Together portal.
The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters’ Ontario Made program is helping the province’s manufacturing base regain and recover revenues lost due to COVID-19 by encouraging manufacturers and producers to register and promote their products on the SupportOntarioMade.ca site and use the Ontario Made logo. Ontario is investing an additional $1 million in 2021-22 to support the continuation of the Ontario Made program.
The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.
“Protecting the health and safety of our frontline workers continues to be our government’s top priority. I am honoured that Brockville is home to 3M’s world-class manufacturing PPE facility as they are not only producing critical N95 respirators for our frontline workers and people of Canada, but are also providing essential jobs in the community.”
— Steve Clark, Member of Provincial Parliament for Leeds-Grenville and Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing
“The respirators starting to roll off the line today will protect workers in health care, education, emergency services, public transportation and other critical sectors for years to come. We are working quickly to get these important pieces of equipment to those who need them, helping to fight COVID-19 and other health risks in every corner of the province.”
— Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Government and Consumer Services
“With shipments of Canadian-made N95 respirators from 3M Canada now underway, our investments in domestic production of this critical piece of equipment are paying off. We are ensuring that Canada has a stable source of supply for our front-line healthcare workers, during the current pandemic and into the future, while creating jobs here at home.”
— Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“As a global company, 3M is making more respirators than ever before. The expansion at our facility in Brockville, Ontario is a critical step towards our goal of providing a consistent supply of 3M N95 respirators to Canadians throughout the current pandemic and beyond. We are honoured to be a part of the plan to help keep Canadians safe and support businesses return to work as the economy recovers. We thank everyone involved for their incredible efforts to help provide 3M N95 respirators to Canadians who need them most.”
— Penny Wise, President, 3M Canada