General Motors (GM) has started to produce 10 million masks for the Canadian government on Tuesday “at cost price”, at a time when Canada is redoubling its efforts to obtain protective material in the face of the shortage it suffers from equipment to fight against COVID-19.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that Canada has received 40 aircraft loaded with medical supplies, but that the needs are much higher, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the country’s two main provinces, Ontario and Quebec.
Canada has purchased around 29,000 respirators, but has only received 203 units to date, while of the more than 104 million N95 masks it has requested, only 12 million have arrived, of which nearly 10 million were defective.
In addition, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, has prohibited the export to Canada of millions of N95 masks that Canadian authorities had purchased from the American multinational 3M.
Canada has recorded 86,614 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6,637 deaths, mostly in Quebec and Ontario.
GM is producing the masks at its car assembly plant in the Canadian town of Oshawa, near Toronto.
Since GM Canada received certification to produce medical supplies on April 22, the automobile company has built and installed the machinery to produce the masks and has trained 60 people from its staff in the production of this type of equipment.
“This is one of the most proud moments in our history, being able to support all Canadians during this difficult time,” GM Canada President and CEO Scott Bell said in a statement.
For his part, Canada’s Industry Minister, Navdeep Bains, stated that “collaboration between the Government, industry and union leaders is essential to create economic opportunities for Canadians while the top priority is health and safety. “
“By equipping the Oshawa plant, GM is strengthening Canada’s domestic supply of personal protective equipment and contributing to the health of Canadian workers and their families,” added Bains.