(The Canadian Press)

Feds continue to add to COVID-19 supply stores to meet future demand

Government has ordered 37 million syringes for a possible vaccine

Planes and boats loaded with personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 supplies continue to arrive in Canada as the federal government moves to increase the domestic stockpile of crucial gear.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday that supply chains for essential equipment have stabilized but Canada continues to press to ensure reliable international sources of goods, while increasing domestic production efforts at the same time.

Canada is in the market for hundreds of millions of pieces of equipment, including gowns, gloves, masks, face shields and hand sanitizer.

Anand said the focus continues to be two-fold: meet short-term needs and be ready for a potential increase in future demand.

“As demand goes up, Canada is keeping up,” Anand said.

Anand said Tuesday the government is also looking ahead to the day a vaccine becomes available, ordering 37 million syringes. It has not yet been determined when they will arrive.

The numbers for most goods on hand are ticking steadily up, though not for ventilators — as of May 26, only 203 had arrived out of the nearly 40,000 ordered.

READ MORE: B.C.’s top doctor urges caution for protesters amid 24 COVID-19 cases, 1 death in two days

Severe forms of COVID-19 often require the use of the assisted-breathing device, and concerns about potential shortages dominated discussions around gear in the early days of the pandemic in Canada.

Anand said the contracts for the ventilators are largely with Canadian companies, and as some companies are retooling to make them, it will be another month before they start arriving.

In their regular procurement updates, the Liberal government has highlighted some of the Canadian companies engaged in production of supplies.

On Tuesday, they singled out The Canadian Shield, from Kitchener, Ont., that has produced 1.2 million face shields so far.

But many of the deals being signed aren’t being made public, signed instead under national security provisions that keep the details — including costs — under wraps.

A spokesperson for Anand’s department said that if the national security exemption wasn’t used, the tenders for the goods would have to remain open for weeks and that just wouldn’t be feasible in the current environment.

Making public all the information around what Canada is buying and from who could also risk the supply of the goods, spokesperson Stefanie Hamel said in an email.

“Considering the fierce global competition for the same products, if we were to disclose information about specific contracts or suppliers, we could jeopardize Canada’s supply chains for these life-saving products, putting our delivery to Canada and into the hands of front-line health-care workers at risk,” Hamel said.

The department said when the risk has passed, the government does intend to provide more information.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aimed at success – the launch hit the target

Prince Rupert teen Brendan Eshom launches educational software app that hits Apple’s “Top Charts”

Getting a head for cancer research

Prince Rupert Cops for Cancer want to flush away the illness with loads of donations for research

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Most Read