IPP&T Magazine Online

Oshawa GM plant fulfills order of 10 million masks

April 13, 2021   Don Horne




GM Canada has completed its order of 10 million masks for the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Since the start of production on May 26, 2020, the team at the Oshawa Operations plant produced approximately one million masks a month to help protect front-line workers and other Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GM Canada received a license to produce from Health Canada on Apr. 22, 2020, and in just over three weeks with support from GM’s global supply chain, the company sourced materials, built the clean room with enhanced safety protocols, installed the required equipment, and recalled and trained 60 workers for two shifts of production in Oshawa in partnership with Unifor.

“We want to thank the Government of Canada, our suppliers, and our Unifor partners for their support in making this project possible,” says Scott Bell, GM Canada president and managing director, in a statement.

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“Although this milestone marks the end of our contract with Health Canada, GM will leverage the speed and agility of our pandemic response to continue supporting our customers and communities.”

To commemorate the Canadian Mask Making (CMM) Room project, the official 10-millionth mask will be donated to the Ingenium, Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation in Ottawa.

Since March 2020, Ingenium’s Curating Under Quarantine Initiative has been working with a variety of Canadian industries (nuclear, aviation, agriculture, production and manufacturing, and public transportation) to document the ways in which these companies, associations and providers have pivoted and responded to the pandemic.

As part of their research, the museums have been working with GM Canada to document the Canadian Mask Making effort.

In addition, GM Canada and its dealers will donate masks to charities across Canada. After fulfilling its obligation to the federal government, GM Canada will produce nearly 500,000 additional masks that will be distributed to its nearly 450 dealers to donate to the charities of their choice.

The Oshawa Assembly plant is now turning its focus to pickup truck production. Announced in November 2020, the plant will receive an investment of $1.3 billion to build a new body shop and flexible assembly module with intention of starting production in January 2022.


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