N95 masks start rolling off Ontario assembly line with aim to ensure domestic supply

N95 mask-Memorystockphoto

The federal and Ontario governments are hailing the first N95 masks to roll off a domestic assembly line as a step toward better pandemic protection for Canada now and into the future.
    
The masks are being produced by 3M Canada following a multimillion-dollar deal between Ottawa and Queen's Park announced last August by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
    
The agreement saw the two levels of government kick in $23.3 million each to help 3M expand production at its plant in Brockville, about an hour south of Ottawa.
    
Both leaders said at the time that the deal was intended to ensure Canada was never again at the mercy of unreliable foreign suppliers of personal protective equipment.
    
Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand underscored that aim during a virtual event with provincial ministers marking delivery of the first masks, which are now destined for front-line workers.
    
The deal will see 30 million masks delivered to the federal government and 25 million to Ontario each year for the next five years.