Shomporko Desk:-PM Justin Trudeau says Canadian companies are currently making so much personal protective equipment required in the battle against COVID-19 that Canada is sort of at the factor of being self-sufficient.
He’ll underscore that dispute today with a visit to a Kanata, Ont., bottling works that have retooled to make hand sanitizer during the pandemic.
The visit to Big Rig Brewery, which has utilized the government wage endowment to rehire labourers, is likewise expected to underscore Trudeau’s repeated plea to businesses to exploit the program to financially recover. It’s his third visit in as many weeks to a company that is utilized the endowment to enlist back laid-off employees.
Today’s visit underlines remarks Trudeau made during a pre-taped interview that disclosed Thursday evening at the online Collision tech conference.
He touted the various federal financial support programs aimed at helping businesses survive the pandemic-induced economic shutdown and to promote innovation to help fight the disease.
And he said many Canadian companies have taken advantage of those programs to retool and start producing masks, gowns, ventilators, sanitizer and other personal protective equipment.
Indeed, Trudeau said so many have stepped up that “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.”
Having a secure domestic supply will be particularly important if there is a second wave of the deadly virus that causes COVID-19 in the fall, triggering another wild, global scramble for PPE.
China is the dominant supplier of PPE. With the outbreak starting in that country, there was a severe shortage of equipment as the disease first started spreading around the world in March. Countries were out-bidding one another for supplies that were often never delivered.
But the Public Services and Procurement Canada website says Canada has still not received anywhere near the quantities of PPE that have been ordered.
As of June 16, 55.7 million face shields had been ordered but only 17.6 million received; more than one billion pairs of gloves ordered but only 42.3 million received; 126.6 million gowns ordered but only 4.6 million received; 20.4 million litres of hand sanitizer ordered but just 7.1 million litres received.
As well, Canada had ordered 121.9 million of the coveted N95 respirators and 340.8 million surgical masks, just 12.9 million and 110.9 million of which respectively had been received. Of the 40,328 ventilators ordered, just 367 had been received.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Haywar
News source: The Canadian Press