Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will be producing up to 30,000 ventilators as more companies step forward and join the fight against COVID-19.

During his daily address to Canadians, Trudeau said that almost 5,000 Canadian companies have gotten in touch with the government in the past few weeks, offering services and resources to help in this critical time.

The demand for critical supplies has been on the rise during the global pandemic and on Tuesday, the Prime Minister offered an update on Canada’s current supply situation.

Trudeau revealed that the federal government is working with Thornhill Medical, CAE Inc, Ventilators for Canadians and Vancouver Island’s own Starfish Medical to produce up to 30,000 Canadian-made ventilators for the communities in our country that need them most.

“These purchases will help increase our capacity to make sure these life-saving machines are made right here at home,” said Trudeau at a press conference at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.

Along with the medical companies, Trudeau said the government is working with Nobel Prize-winning researcher Dr. Art McDonald, who is leading a team of scientists to develop additional ventilators.

According to Trudeau, he believes that the 30,000 ventilators being produced will be more than enough, but is hoping that the need in Canada doesn’t come close to that number. The government is, however, preparing for a worst-case scenario.

Trudeau also suggested that by aiming to create 30,000 ventilators, Canada would be in a position to provide for other countries that need them as well. As for a timeline, Trudeau points to some ventilators being ready and available within the coming weeks.

In addition to ventilators, Trudeau highlighted some of the other supplies being produced from the mobilization of Canadian industries.

“To produce medical gowns and establish new supply chains right here in Canada, we’re teaming up with over 20 companies including Arc’teryx, Canada Goose and Stanfield’s,” said the Prime Minister.

Trudeau pointed towards the innovation from these Canadian brands as being the most “inspiring” part of the mobilization.

“For example, Autoliv is looking to make medical gowns out of material that they’d normally use to produce airbags,” stated Trudeau.

Following a glimpse into manufacturing that was occurring on Canadian soil, Trudeau outlined some critical supplies coming from beyond our borders as well.

Despite some uncertainty in the past week involving an unprecedented demand from President Donald Trump and 3M, Trudeau said Canada will be receiving a shipment of 500,000 masks from the American corporation.

“From the outset, our priority has been the health and safety of all Canadians. So whether you are making medical gowns, delivering ventilators or treating a patient with COVID-19, we have your back,” Trudeau added.

Trudeau’s Tuesday address also marked the second day that applications were being accepted for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, with Canadians who were born in the months of April, May, and June now eligible to apply.

Graham Cox