Quebec wants to ensure its autonomy in protective masks thanks to a contract of $ 330 million over 10 years with a local company.
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Montrealer Medicom will supply 20 million N95 masks and 66 million level 3 surgical masks to the Quebec health network annually, our parliamentary office has learned.
While it was getting its supplies from its five factories abroad before the pandemic, the company built full steam ahead in the Saint-Laurent borough this summer thanks to a $ 4 million loan from Investissement Québec . The factory now employs more than 80 people.
With this agreement, Quebec wishes to acquire a reserve of protective masks to supply health personnel for 4 to 6 months of a health crisis.
“We will be autonomous for the masks, in Quebec”, assures a government source.
Medicom also reached an agreement with the federal government last spring to provide it with 20 million N95 masks and 24 million surgical masks annually for 10 years.
This desire for self-sufficiency is a global trend, notes Medicom’s chief operating officer, Guillaume Laverdure.
Besides Canada, England, Hong Kong, Singapore and France have also ordered new installations from Medicom since the start of the pandemic.
“These governments all wanted to have nearby factories to produce masks on site,” explains Laverdure.
Last spring, the global race for personal protective equipment demonstrated the limits of industrial production concentrated in Asia.
Quebec orders for protective equipment had notably been delayed in China, under the pretext of additional quality control.
A cargo that arrived in Quebec was even diverted to the United States afterwards.
And that’s not counting the protective masks, the quality of which was deemed insufficient once we arrived here.
During this time, stocks in Quebec were decreasing for patient attendants and other employees of the health network faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister François Legault confided at a press conference that “things are playing hard in some countries”.
So much so that Quebec officials sometimes had to pay with cash and be escorted by the police to ensure that another country would not try to buy the cargo on the way.
This observation had prompted Mr. Legault to promise a shift towards greater self-sufficiency in Quebec, both in terms of medical equipment and food.
“I think that, if there is a lesson to be learned from the current crisis, it is that we should be autonomous for the goods which are essential”, affirmed François Legault on April 3.
That day, it was estimated that the reserves of surgical masks would allow Quebec to last only eight days.
Photo courtesy, Medicom
Contract of 330 million $ over 10 years
20 millions N95 masks per year
66 million surgical masks per year
Goal : create a reserve for 4 to 6 months of a health crisis
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116