Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario and federal governments are partnering with 3M Canada to expand its Brockville manufacturing facility to produce millions of N95 respirators.
Each level of government is investing over $23 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million. The expanded facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond.
The announcement was made last week on the site of the expansion by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“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 Premier 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.”
The Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada reached a five-year agreement with 3M for the provision of 50 million respirators annually beginning in early 2021 to meet current demand for frontline healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada. The respirators will be shared equally between Ontario and Ottawa.
The project is expected to create 30 jobs in Brockville, including production operators, maintenance technicians, process engineers, supervisors and quality assurance professionals.
“Our health care workers have been on the front lines of our country’s fight against COVID-19 since the very beginning,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “While the virus remains a threat, we need to make sure these real-life heroes have the equipment they need.”
N95s are the respirators that health professionals and frontline workers depend on and Ontario’s partnership with 3M and the federal government will provide a made-in-Ontario solution to reduce our dependence on foreign supply chains while strengthening our domestic supply chain and further expanding our world-class manufacturing capacity,” said
The partnership between the Ontario government, the federal government and 3M Canada is an important step to meeting current and future needs and ensuring a readily available stockpile of N95 respirators. This investment is essential in the creation of new manufacturing capabilities, new jobs, and a strengthened domestic supply chain for vital PPE as Ontario continues on its path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.
Once the Brockville facility is fully operational, it is expected that the first Ontario-made N95 masks will be available in Q1, 2021. Until that time, 3M will continue to rely on its global supply chain for mask supply in Canada.
“From the very beginning of this pandemic, Canada’s front-line healthcare workers have worked tirelessly to keep Canadians safe and healthy. By partnering with 3M Canada, we’re securing a made-in-Canada supply of essential life-saving equipment and ensuring our healthcare workers have the protective equipment they need to continue their incredible efforts, and to do their job safely,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.