In times of crisis, it is essential for governments to step up and support local businesses. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government and some provinces provided hollow reassurances to all the enterprises that now find themselves mired in a difficult situation. Initially, the government pledged to aid them if the companies stepped up to address the pandemic crisis, only to abandon them when they needed it the most.
The demand for PPE skyrocketed as the pandemic spread around the world, and many nations struggled to get enough supplies. To address the need for PPE, the federal government and various provinces in Canada issued a call to domestic enterprises. The Canadian enterprises responded to the call and started producing in huge numbers, but only in vain. The Canadian government didn’t buy a single thing from these companies when the time arrived.
Instead, the federal government and Ontario awarded contracts to a large American corporation and a Quebec operation, forcing 90% of those enterprises to shut down or shift to other industries.
“We’ve got an industry that is just running on fumes,” Barry Hunt, the president of the Canadian Association of PPE Manufacturers, said in an interview.
“Most of them are out of business and the ones that aren’t out of business are going out of business quickly,” he added.
“There was a promise to procure at the end and that has never happened,” said Hunt, whose association has 15 companies remaining as members.
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As COVID-19 spread in the spring of 2020, governments all across the world hurried to buy masks, gowns, gloves, and other protective equipment. In March 2020, the virus struck Canada in full force.
George Irwin responded to government requests for assistance in April 2020. He put a halt to business at his family’s toy business, Irwin Toy, to bring masks to Ontario.
As many nations struggled to obtain masks, he was able to acquire 2.5 million masks thanks to his contacts in China and assistance from Air Canada.
The Ontario and federal governments asked Irwin to think about establishing a facility in Canada as a result of his achievements, he claimed. After doing the research, he concluded that he could produce a better mask than those coming from China for around the same cost.
He invested roughly $6 million and secured an Ontario grant of about $2 million to construct a mask manufacturing facility in Collingwood, Ontario.
Irwin collaborated with colleagues to develop an antibacterial four-layer mask using his background in toys, a dynamic, innovative business. He also developed a respirator mask that is recyclable and reusable.
Irwin declared that he trusted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford when they said that a domestic PPE industry was something they wanted to develop.
But neither government purchased a single mask from him, he said.
As a result, Irwin’s business entered receivership in the summer. Everything, including his house, could be lost owing to both the traitors.
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“I’m pissed off,” Irwin said. “We did nothing wrong, all we did was make a better product that’s been ignored.”
This narrative isn’t solely about Barry, as there are numerous others who have encountered similar experiences. There are many who have been left in the lurch by the government. Paul Sweeny, who once produced parts for safety shoes and gave his best to answer the pandemic call, is similarly miffed as other companies that switched over to support the pandemic response.
In his facility, Sweeny currently has 11 machines, a sizable clean room, automated packing, and robots. The factory, which employs 60 people, has the potential to produce up to 25 million masks per month but not to be. Because the government is in a state of retreat. The Canadian government
The government‘s false promises have caused significant disruption to the pharmaceutical industry, leaving companies scrambling to adjust their operations and stay afloat. Many companies have had to make difficult decisions regarding their workforce and production levels, while others have had to delay or cancel research and development projects. This has left many pharmaceutical companies in a precarious financial position, which has compounded the challenges they are already facing.
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