COVID-19 Update for April 7, 2020 – 12:30pm

April 7, 2020

The Prime Minister’s daily news conference provided updates on the medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).

N95 Masks

The Trump administration and 3M announced late yesterday that they had reached a deal to import 166.5 million from its manufacturing facility in China into the United States over the next three months. As part of this deal, 3M will be allowed to send respirators to Canada and Latin America.

This morning, the Prime Minister confirmed that 500,000 N95 masks from 3M will arrive in Canada tomorrow. When asked if an exception had been granted to Canada under President Trump’s executive order, Trudeau would not provide a definitive answer and said constructive talks continue.

For further information, 3M’s announcement can be found here.

Mobilizing Industry

The Prime Minister Trudeau said government has been working with a number of industry partners to develop supplies to help Canada combat COVID-19. Partnerships include:

  • Medical companies including Thornhill Medical, CAE, Ventilators for Canadians and a consortium led by Starfish Medical to produce 30,000 Canadian-made ventilators. Medicom is also increasing their production of N95 masks.
  • Apparel brands Arc’teryx, Canada Goose and Standfield’s have been retooling their production lines to produce PPE.
  • Automotive parts manufacturer Autoliv is making medical gowns from materials used to produce airbags.

The Prime Minister also announced that Canadian Nobel Prize winner Dr. Art McDonald will be leading a team of scientists to develop a type of ventilator that will be easier to manufacturer.

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Legislation

Proposed legislation to bring in a wage subsidy for employers has been shared with opposition parties and debate is underway. Trudeau noted that amendments to the Income Tax Act will need to be required.

While particulars have not been released, the Department of Finance has set up a website that provides a fullsome backgrounder.

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit

As a reminder, if you are eligible for the CERB and your birthday falls in April, May or June, you can apply today on the government’s online portal.

If you have any questions about this update please let us know.

The Enterprise Team

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