Canadian companies are producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 on such a large scale that Prime Minster Trudeau said the nation is soon to be self-sufficient, according to CTV News.
During a pre-taped interview at the Collision tech conference on Thursday, Trudeau spoke highly of the numerous financial programs that his administration has implemented to keep the economy stimulated and to encourage innovation against fighting the virus.
Trudeau also noted that many companies have taken advantage of such programs in order to retool their manufacturing lines to make masks, ventilators, gowns and various other PPE. He said the accountability and innovation of Canadian companies has been helpful because, "even as, like every country, we're having to import massive amounts of PPE because we didn't have enough from the beginning, we're now getting to a place where we're close to self-sufficient on that and able to turn around and share with the world, particularly the developing world."
The PM is also scheduled to have a visit at Big Rig Brewery today in Kanata, Ontario, a company that retooled their operation to make hand sanitizer to contribute to the fight against the pandemic.
The brewery also used the federal wage subsidy to rehire staff that they were initially forced to lay off. This is the Trudeau's third visit of this kind over the last couple of weeks as the Prime Minister is urging all small businesses to use the subsidy to hire back employees and get their businesses back on their feet.
With the high likelihood of a second wave of COVID-19, it's imperative that the country have a sufficient domestic supply of PPE, a second wave is predicted to hit in the coming fall.
China is the world's dominant producer of PPE since the outbreak hit their country first, they were the first to have a severe shortage as the disease began to slowly spread across the globe in March. This resulted in a global scramble for PPE and countries were out-bidding one another to acquire the desperately needed supplies which in several cases, including in Canada, were never delivered.
Canada is still waiting on enormous quantities of PPE that were ordered but never arrived, according to the Public Services and Procurement Canada website.
Face shields, for example were ordered to the tune of 55.7 million units however only 17.6 million have been received as of June 16. Canada also ordered over a billion pairs of gloves but received only 42.3 million. Gowns were ordered as well but only a fraction were ever delivered and only about a third of the hand sanitizer that was ordered ever arrived.
Orders for the coveted N95 respirators that and surgical masks also came in dramatically light and of the 40,328 ventilators, so far only 367 have arrived.