Ford announces $2.5M for Guelph's Linamar Corp. to help make ventilators
KITCHENER -- Premier Doug Ford was in Guelph on Tuesday to announce a major investment in one of the area's largest manufacturers as it works to produce ventilators.
The premier announced a $2.5 million investment from the province to help Linamar Corp. retool its assembly line in order to produce components for the Ontario-made machines.
O-Two Medical Technologies partnered with Linamar and others, including Bombardier, to help produce these e700 ventilators.
Ford was flanked by Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli for the announcement.
"Ontario is the workshop of Canada, and it’s the creativity and ingenuity of enterprising companies like Linamar and O-Two that will make Ontario-made medical equipment known for quality and excellence across the country and around the world,” Ford said in a news release.
"By building homegrown capacity to make ventilators, we will never again have to rely on any other country for this critical piece of lifesaving medical equipment."
The funding comes as part of the province's $50 million Ontario Together Fund, which is aimed at helping businesses retool their operations to produce personal protective equipment.
"We are purchasing 10,000 of these ventilators for Ontario and for our stockpile," Fedeli said.
"Having these life-saving devices is critical," Ford said. "It's the difference between being ready for the worst or not."
Dr. Abdu Sharkawy, an infectious disease expert for CTV News, said Ontario did have enough ventilators during the first wave of COVID-19, but added it's important to be prepared.
"We can't assume that's going to be the case again," he said. "Every effort must be made to invest in more resources that's not going to compromise the ability of our ICUs to operate safely."
Linamar isn't the first company in the area to get a helping hand from the government. Eclipse Automation, the parent company of Eclipse Innovation in Cambridge, pivoted early on during the pandemic to begin manufacturing N95 masks.
Back in July, the premier visited the facility and announced a $1.4 million investment in the company, which Ford said at the time would help it produce up to a million masks per week.
Local start-up Trusscore was also used as an example of a Canadian business fighting the pandemic by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in March, while local face shield manufacturer The Canadian Shield had 10 million face shields ordered by the federal government as they worked to build their supply.
To date, Ontario has reported 45,068 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. That number also includes 40,091 cases that have been resolved and 2,820 deaths.