Brockville 3M plant producing N95 masks means Ontario is 'self-sufficient' for PPE: Premier Ford
OTTAWA -- Premier Doug Ford says a deal that will see 3M produce up to 100 million N95 masks a year at its plant in Brockville means Ontario and Canada will be self-sufficient for supplies of personal protective equipment.
“We don’t have to rely on everyone anymore,” said Premier Ford during an interview with 104.9 JRFM in Brockville Friday morning.
Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were in Brockville Friday afternoon to announce an agreement with 3M that will see the company produce N95 masks at its Brockville plant.
“This is part of made in Canada plan to find solutions to COVID-19, this will keep our frontline workers safe and secure domestic PPE production for years to come,” Trudeau said.
A spokesperson for Ontario’s minister of economic development confirmed to the Canadian Press that the federal and Ontario governments will each contribute $23.3 million to help increase capacity at the Brockville plant.
Under the plan, 3M will produce up to 100 million N95 masks a year.
“I remember saying this a couple of months ago when everyone was scrambling for PPE and I said ‘never again are we going to rely on foreign countries and foreign leaders to supply our country,” said Premier Ford during an interview with Bruce Wylie on 104.9 JRFM in Brockville.
Ford says the deal means Ontario won’t have to rely on other countries for N95 masks.
"We're self-sufficient, we don't have to rely on anyone anymore, as a matter of fact, we can supply the whole country and if we have extra, we'll be generous and supply to other countries who are hurting."
The five-year deal is expected to create 30 new jobs in Brockville.
“This is a big day for Canada, this is a big day for Ontario, so you can imagine how big a deal it is for Brockville," says Brockville Mayor Jason Baker. “Thirty jobs, that are the type of jobs that will be coming in with this type of operation is important, it’s going to expand our middle class, give opportunities for our younger generation to stay at home, and we’ll keep that skill level here.”
The Brockville-made N95 masks are expected to be available in early 2021.
The federal government also signed a 10-year with Quebec-based Medicom in April for N95 mask production.
During the interview with 104.9 JRFM in Brockville, Ford was asked about the Canadian standards for masks compared to masks made in China.
"You ask any Canadian, 'Do you trust what's made in China or do you trust the quality control processes here in Canada and the regulations we have to make sure products are safer for any person in our country?'" asked Ford.
"When people are walking down the aisles of their local retail store or hardware store...we need to make sure manufacturers put that Ontario-made logo or Canadian-made logo, because all things being equal, people are going to buy the Canadian product, I've never seen patriotism run so high in this country as it has throughout this pandemic and I'm just so proud of anyone and how they've stepped up to the plate.“
Ford will also visit CanArm and Ketchum Manufacturing, along with Luna Pizzeria during his visit to Brockville.
With files from the Canadian Press