September 15, 2020
Today Premier Doug Ford announced an investment of $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund to increase the province’s capacity to produce ventilators for patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
Premier Ford was joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli.
Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott responded to questions from media regarding Ontario’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
Ontario Together Funding for Increased Ventilator Production
This afternoon, at the headquarters of Linamar Corp. in Guelph, Premier Ford announced an investment of $2.5 million from the Ontario Together Fund, to increase capacity to produce made-in-Ontario e700 ventilators for patients with severe cases of COVID-19. The funding will be directed to Linamar Corp., to support the retooling of its assembly line to manufacture components for 10,000 ventilators, which will be assembled through a partnership with O-Two Medical Technologies and Bombardier.
Minister Fedeli emphasized that this afternoon’s announcement is a sign that Ontario is becoming increasingly self-sufficient in producing essential medical equipment, meaning that the province will be better prepared for a second wave of COVID-19 or other future emergencies.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
In response to questions about how the province plans to reduce wait times for tests at COVID-19 assessment centres, Premier Ford said that the Ministry of Health is aware of the issue and is working on a solution. Minister Elliott added that the Ministry is working to boost the capacities of both assessment centres and lab facilities, so that tests can be conducted and processed in a timely manner.
Premier Ford also indicated that an announcement on increasing the province’s testing capacity would be coming in the next several days, suggesting that the province may be moving forward with testing of asymptomatic people for COVID-19 in pharmacies.
COVID-19 Regional Outbreaks
When asked whether the province plans to take action to address spikes in new cases of COVID-19 due to private gatherings in regions experiencing outbreaks, Premier Ford confirmed that action will be taken to limit further spread of the virus. He added that he recently spoke to the local medical officials and mayors in the cities of Toronto, Ottawa, and Brampton, who have highlighted main areas of concern for the province to address. According to Premier Ford, these areas of concern will be brought to Ontario’s COVID-19 Command Table.