A shipment of protective masks destined for Ontario that was arrested Sunday night at the Canada-US border is being released, the province confirmed on Monday.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said earlier today that the shipment contains three million N-95 masks. Ford’s office later clarified that the shipment contained 500,000 masks.
In a one-on-one interview with CityNews on Monday morning, Ford warned that if the shipment did not get through, Ontario’s frontline health workers would run out of masks this week.
“We are approaching the crisis,” said Ford. “We have a real problem with our American counterparts. “
The Premier said he voiced his concerns to the US ambassador to trade, saying that Ontario desperately needs the equipment. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said he had “productive and positive” conversations with the United States regarding the fate of the masks.
Ford added that the province was exploring other options, including the possibility of contacting contacts in Asia for assistance.
A Woodbridge company is also slated to start producing up to a million masks next week.
BREAKDOWN: In a one-on-one interview, Premier Ford tells me that Ontario will be short of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in a week. Yesterday, the United States prevented the expedition from crossing the border. # covid19 The@CityNewsThe pic.twitter.com/ndR71K0MCt
– Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) April 6, 2020
Ford sharply criticized Trump’s decision to stop the shipments, calling it “unacceptable” and promising to accelerate the production of personal protective equipment in Ontario.
“When you sit down and think about your allies and the wars we have gone through, we have stood shoulder to shoulder fighting the same enemies. And now we have an enemy and we are at war and they want to stop things with their closest ally in the world? Ford said of Queen’s Park on Saturday.
“When the cards are going down, you see who your friends are, and I think that in the last few days, our friends have been very clear. Do you know who our friends are? All Canadians, look in the mirror, they are our friends right now. “