Health and Safety
More N95 respirator masks rolling off production line
By Bakers Journal
Good news for bakeries, factories or grocery frontline workers looking for more PPE: Made-in-Ontario N95 respirators have started rolling off the production line at 3M’s Brockville plant.
About 700,000 N95 respirators are being shipped from the plant this week. These new masks will provide frontline workers with the protection they need in the continued fight against COVID-19, and ensure Ontario and Canada has a reliable supply in the event of any future outbreaks.
Details were provided today by Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes; Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Government and Consumer Services; François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; and Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
“Last year, we committed to doing everything we can to increase the quantity of PPE in Ontario to support our heroic healthcare and frontline workers,” said Minister Fedeli in a statement. “Today, we celebrate a major milestone toward achieving that goal, with a made-in-Ontario solution that creates jobs along the way.”
The first shipment comes just eight months after the governments of Canada and Ontario reached a five-year agreement with 3M last August for the provision of 55 million respirators annually to meet demand for frontline healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada. Through this partnership, 3M expanded its Brockville manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators. Each level of government invested $23.33 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million.
The Brockville facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond. The project created 30 jobs in Brockville, including production operators, maintenance technicians, process engineers, supervisors and quality assurance professionals.
The partnership among the Ontario and federal governments and 3M Canada is an important step toward meeting current and future needs and ensuring a readily available stockpile of N95 respirators. This investment is essential to creating new manufacturing capabilities and jobs, and a strengthened domestic supply chain for vital PPE as Ontario continues on its path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.