August 21, 2020
Today Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a partnership between the Ontario and federal governments and 3M Canada, to expand Canadian production of N95 respirators.
Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau were joined by Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli; MPP for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark; federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand; and President of 3M Canada, Penny Wise.
Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford and ministers responded to questions from media regarding Ontario’s response to COVID-19.
Partnership Between Ontario and Federal Governments and 3M Canada
This afternoon, Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau announced a partnership between the Ontario and federal government and 3M Canada. This partnership, through which the federal and Ontario governments will each invest $23.33 million, will enable 3M Canada to expand its Brockville, Ontario manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators.
3M’s expanded manufacturing facility in Brockville is expected to be operational in early 2021.
Premier Ford responded that 3M represents the gold standard in the production of N95 respirators, and the governments of Ontario and Canada wanted to partner with the most competitive business in this industry. He added that he is grateful that 3M’s expanded facility will create jobs in Brockville.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
Municipal Revenue Shortfalls
When asked about the second round of emergency funding for municipalities, Minister Clark thanked Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Ford for reaching the historic Safe Restart Agreement. He added that, following the first round of funding, Ontario is turning its sights to individual expenses that municipalities have incurred as a result of COVID-19, and allowing municipalities to put plans in place for a second wave of the pandemic. The Ontario government will continue to consult with municipalities and track COVID-19-related expenses.
In response to questions about whether the Ontario government would increase funding to provide for the hiring of additional teachers, Premier Ford pointed to the $30 million provided by the government to school boards, which is earmarked for this purpose. He added that the government is permitting school boards to access reserve funds, saying that Ontario is “pouring money into the system.” He reiterated that the government’s number one priority is ensuring a safe environment in schools for both children and educators.