Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on the supply of personal protective equipment in Canada on Tuesday morning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister said in the last 10 weeks alone, over 40 flights have arrived in Canada carrying much needed personal protective equipment.
The deliveries represent hundreds of thousands of items — everything from masks to hospital gowns that have been shipped to front line workers across the country, according to the government.
Along with the items that have already been received in recent weeks, Trudeau announced additional investments to secure Canadian-produced equipment in the upcoming months.
He unveiled during his routine press conference from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa that the federal government has signed a contract with General Motors for the production of 10 million face masks during the current health crisis.
“As we speak, GM employees are already making these masks,” Trudeau said. “They will keep people safe and help slow the spread of COVID-19.”
On the flip side of the deal, Trudeau believes this will help General Motors employees continue to receive their paychecks.
“For the auto workers in Oshawa, this contract will support good, well-paying jobs in an industry that has faced tough times,” said Trudeau.
In regards to life-saving health care equipment, Trudeau said a new contract has been signed for the production of an additional 10,000 Canadian-made ventilators. The deal has been made between the federal government, Nobel Laureate Art McDonald, his team and Vexos Inc.
“Deliveries will begin this summer, bringing our total of made-in-Canada ventilators to 40,000,” added Trudeau.
Trudeau also reiterated that the government is continuing to support research centres as they develop new COVID-19 testing products.
In addition to providing an update on Canada’s personal protective equipment supply, Trudeau announced new government plans to provide youth jobs in the food sector.
“With the growing season underway, farmers are working harder than ever to keep Canadians fed, but, because of COVID-19, many are having trouble finding workers,” stated Prime Minister Trudeau.
According to Trudeau, the Canadian government will be funding up to 700 youth jobs in the farming and food industry in order to help fill the needs of the sector.
“This will support the people who put food on our plates, while creating new opportunities for young people,” Trudeau said.
Earlier this month, Trudeau and the Liberals pledged a $252 million aid package to help Canada’s agriculture and food industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well.