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Ontario sources major PPE contracts with Canadian firms

July 27, 2021   Don Horne

Queen’s Park has signed contracts with two firms to supply 500 million made-in-Ontario level 1 and level 2 surgical/protective masks over the next five years.

Following a competitive process, Viva Healthcare Packaging and Canada Masq will be producing approximately 50 million masks per year over the next five years.

“Ontario manufacturers have a central role to play in our self-sufficiency as a province, not only as we continue to fight COVID-19, but over the years that follow,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “By bringing more Ontario suppliers on board and centralizing procurement, we will ensure healthcare workers always have a steady supply of PPE and that we will never need to rely on another jurisdiction again to keep Ontarians safe.”

Each company will:

  • Viva Healthcare Packaging Canada, operating in Scarborough, used a grant from the Ontario Together Fund to retool their operations to increase their mask-making capacity. Becoming one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of medical-grade masks has led to the creation of 115 new jobs in the local community.
  • Canada Masq, based in Richmond Hill, answered the government’s call in the early days of the pandemic for entrepreneurs to create locally-made masks. Early planning of their business started in April 2020, and mass production of masks began in December, adding 58 full-time jobs for the community.

The government’s contracts with Viva Healthcare and Canada Masq are in addition to those previously announced with 3M Canada and PRIMED. These contracts and more will be overseen centrally by Supply Ontario in the future as the agency continues to be stood up. Procurement of PPE will be one of the first responsibilities to be transferred from the ministry to Supply Ontario, the government’s new centralized procurement agency.

“Ontario is the economic engine of Canada, and our skilled workforce and world-class manufacturing sector can make the emergency supplies right here at home while creating good jobs and contributing to our economic recovery. Because of innovative companies like Viva Healthcare and Canada Masq, our province will be well-equipped with a reliable domestic supply of PPE and other critical supplies to get us through this pandemic and ensure our preparedness for any future challenges.” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

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