Toronto company increases ventilator production by tenfold to meet demand in COVID-19 pandemic

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Lesley Gouldie, CEO and President of Thornhill Medical, is pictured with a ventilator in Toronto, March 31, 2020.

Christopher Katsarov / The Globe and Mail

One of the companies manufacturing fans for the federal government has increased its production capacity tenfold to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thornhill Medical CEO Lesley Gouldie says her Toronto business would normally produce at most 50 ventilators in one month, but hopes to deliver more than 1,000 to the federal government and 40 more directly to Ontario in the next two months.

The company has partnered with Linamar, an auto parts manufacturer based in Guelph, Ontario, which helps them find all the materials they need and produce some of the machines at their own facility.

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The company is responding to requests from “all continents,” but Gouldie says it will respond first to Canadian demand, then work on international orders.

Gouldie says Thornhill shipped eight fans to Ontario last week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that the government was working with several Canadian companies to produce up to 30,000 new ventilators, although the Thornhill Medical 1,020 purchase order is the only contract signed today.

Public Services and Supply Minister Anita Anand said Canada is working hard on the increasingly difficult logistics of getting COVID-19 essential medical equipment to Canada from countries strangers. The Canadian Press

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