A shipment of 500,000 N95 masks from Minnesota-based 3M bound for Ontario is set to arrive Wednesday. CP photo

Canadian companies promise 30,000 ventilators on way, Trudeau says

Front-line medical workers remain in desperate need of personal protective equipment

OTTAWA — Canada has ordered 30,000 new ventilators from domestic companies but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he is hoping we don’t end up needing nearly that many.

Federal officials also said more than 230 million surgical masks and 75 million N95 respirator masks have been ordered but cautioned the global supply chain is so fragile they cannot guarantee how many of those will actually arrive.

Front-line medical workers remain in desperate need of personal protective equipment, including gowns and N95 masks. Ontario Premier Doug Ford warned Monday his province would run out of those supplies in one week.

A shipment of 500,000 N95 masks from Minnesota-based 3M bound for Ontario is set to arrive Wednesday. The shipment was delayed after President Donald Trump ordered the company to stop exporting critical equipment needed in the U.S.

A full-court press from Canada overcame that obstacle for the time being, but Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday the entire world is looking for these supplies and the markets to buy them are changing, sometimes by the hour.

Trudeau said this morning “the entire world was unprepared” for a pandemic of this size, and said Canada is better off than some other countries where supplies are more limited and the outbreak more severe.

Trudeau said about 5,000 Canadian companies have answered the call for help to make everything from face masks to medical gowns to help treat people afflicted with COVID-19. That includes a number of companies which had federal procurement policies fast-tracked in order to make 30,000 new ventilators.

He says the new ventilators will be ready “in the coming weeks” but nobody was more specific about when.

In late March, it was estimated that Canada had around 5,000 ventilators already across the country.

Trudeau says ordering 30,000 more is intended to get more than we need as quickly as possible and any we don’t end up using will be made available to other countries in need.

“We certainly hope we do not get anywhere near that number” of patients on ventilators, he said.

Anand said 16 million of the surgical masks the federal government ordered have already been delivered, and that 2.3 million of the N95 masks ordered will be in Canada by the end of the week.

Canada is also in need of surgical gowns but getting a domestic supply of those was difficult because the materials used to make them aren’t produced in Canada, said Industry Minister Navdeep Bains.

A bit of extra effort led to the discovery that materials normally used to make air bags and construction house wrap can be used to make the gowns, so manufacturers of those items were connected with apparel companies, including Canada Goose, to make new surgical gowns domestically, he said.

A few hundred Canadian patients are in intensive care because of COVID-19 but it’s not clear how many are on ventilators, because provinces treat the numbers differently.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s active COVID-19 cases continue to trend downwards

85 new cases Tuesday, active cases sit at 1,004

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes returns to Sylvan Lake Aug. 21

Sylvan Lake Rotary Club is hosting the third annual event which raises domestic violence awareness

‘Is this a town garden?’ Sylvan Lake resident has been gardening for 7 decades

Most summer days, Joel McCutcheon is in his garden pulling weeds, tending flowers and mowing

Witnesses to doctor attack will likely suffer trauma: RCMP

Supt. Gerald Grobmeier held a news conference last night but wouldn’t confirm details.

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Donations pour in for family of doctor killed in Red Deer attack

Man has been charged in connection to death of Red Deer doctor

Vigil held in Maskwacis for 10-year-old boy

Samson Cree Nation comes together for comfort, console each other

Cuts to environmental monitoring budget In Alberta’s oilsands are viewed as reckless

The 2019-2020 budget saw $58 million dollars being dedicated to environmental monitoring

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Most Read