Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said demand for essential supplies such as test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment is increasing across the country as COVID-19 cases escalate, and nearly 5,000 Canadian companies have asked for their help in producing these items.
Trudeau said the federal government’s call for companies to reorganize production on March 20 is helping to build up a supply of Canadian-made goods.
“We need a sustainable and stable supply of these products,” said Trudeau. “To make sure our front line workers have everything they need to save lives and stay safe.”
He said that “the whole world is not prepared” to have enough protective gear, and the only option Canada currently has is to produce as many supplies as quickly as possible.
Highlighting some of the agreements already signed to get supplies out of domestic production lines, Trudeau said that more than 30,000 fans are accelerated, a much higher number than previously.
Trudeau also said that more than 20 companies are helping to make medical gowns, including the Arc’teryx and Canada Goose brands. This includes AutoLiv, a company that seeks to make dresses from materials it generally uses to make airbags.
In a statement following its remarks, the government also noted that millions of surgical masks have been ordered from Canadian companies and that hand sanitizer is produced with the help of groups in the cosmetics industry and alcohol.
When asked if he expected Canada to use as many fans, Trudeau said he hoped not. “If we end up making more ventilators than Canada needs because Canadians continue to maintain social distance, to continue to follow the best health advice, that would be great news and we will have ventilators to share with other countries that face more difficult circumstances, “Trudeau told me.
The government continues to describe current international efforts to procure medical supplies as a “Wild West”, but more shipments of essential protective equipment are expected to arrive this week.
Among these shipments are 500,000 masks from the American company 3M, said Trudeau, after a few days of diplomatic comings and goings.
The government says it is currently working on more than 22,000 bids to Public Services and Procurement Canada from companies interested or able to sell in Canada.
Trudeau again spoke to Canadians outside of Rideau Cottage.
Trudeau has not yet given a date when Parliament will resume for its second emergency session to adopt a multi-billion dollar expansion of COVID-19 financial assistance measures.
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said on Monday evening that the Liberals had provided a draft copy of the bill to the opposition parties. The main objective of the law is expected to be to increase the wage subsidy that the government has called the largest economic program in Canadian history.
Trudeau said these changes will result from changes to the Income Tax Act.
Trudeau said House leaders will speak throughout the day to reach an agreement on the rapid passage of the law.
Monday was the first day Canadians could claim the new Canadian emergency response benefit, and more than 788,000 people applied. Another 178,000 people applied for employment insurance, which means that almost one million Canadians applied for federal financial assistance on April 6 alone.
A total of 3.67 million Canadians have applied for these benefits since March 15, the majority of which have already been processed.
Trudeau said Monday that the federal government will soon introduce new measures to make emergency benefits available to Canadians who are not currently eligible, such as contract workers and students.
He took a moment in his remarks Tuesday to thank the public service, which works tirelessly to process these requests.
In addition, noting that Tuesday is World Health Day and National Caregiver Day, the Prime Minister said that he was “especially grateful” to those working to keep Canadians safe during this global pandemic.
“We do not need a pandemic or a special day to recognize your vital contributions to this country, but I hope all Canadians will join me in expressing our deep gratitude,” he said. said, suggesting that Canadians “honk a little louder” at their local demonstrations. thank health care workers, who tapped pots and pans on apartment balconies at set times when schedules change near hospitals and clinics.