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TORONTO (Sputnik) – The governments of Canada and Ontario are moving forward with a partnership with US manufacturer 3M to produce N95 masks in the province, Premier Doug Ford’s office said in a statement.
“Both [the governments of Canada and Ontario] are investing $23.33 million [$17.69 million USD] to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million [$53.07 million USD]. The expanded facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial, and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond”, the statement said on Friday.
3M will manufacture 50 million respirators annually over the next five years as part of the agreement, according to Ontario’s economic development minister Vic Fedeli.
The project, which Ford touted as “historic”, is expected to add jobs to Ontario’s economy.
In April, at the peak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Canadian officials expressed concern about reports of shipments of personal protective equipment being intercepted by the US authorities after the Trump administration formally invoked the Defence Production Act to require 3M to prioritize orders from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency for N95 respirator masks.