Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference at Eclipse Innovations Inc. in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon that the provincial government is providing the Ontario Together Fund with $ 1.4 million to help Eclipse grow its operations to manufacture millions of N95 respirators made in Ontario.
“Thanks to incredible companies like this one, Ontario will never be left at the mercy of other countries and other leaders for PPE and essential medical equipment,” said Ford.
“We can do anything here in Ontario, we have the people, the expertise, the manufacturing could build anything here on our soil.”
At the start of the pandemic, Ontario and other provinces struggled to obtain essential personal protective equipment for front-line health workers as countries around the world rushed to put the hand on N95 masks, surgical gowns, gloves and other medical equipment.
“N95 respirators filter 95% of airborne particles, which makes it very efficient. By adding this new capacity, Eclipse will quickly produce these vital respirators and help ensure the safe reopening of our province, “said Minister of Economic Development Fedeli on Tuesday.
Fedeli noted that the province’s financial support will help create 17 new full-time permanent jobs with affiliate Eclipse Innovations.
The company also has a partnership with Conestoga College for the development of N95 predictive fit testing software using facial scanning technology, said Fedeli.
“What stands out from this project is Eclipse’s rapid response to pave the way for domestically produced N95 respirators,” he said.
“When COVID-19 struck, Eclipse established global partnerships to use its existing design to bring Canadian-made certified N95 respirators to the market.”
Ford’s funding announcement comes on the first day of its summer tour where it plans to visit 38 ridings over the next eight weeks.
“In the coming months, Premier Ford will visit a number of communities to recognize those who have gone beyond, to hear people’s ideas about how government can help them succeed in the new environment and to support Ontario-made products as a key part of the province’s journey to recovery, “said the office of the Premier in a statement released Tuesday.
Ford plans to visit Essex County on Thursday and the Waterloo region on Friday.