(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

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Large police presence in Castlegar on July 9 involved man peeing on street

Three police officers responded to the incident near the Black Rooster Pub at around 1:30 p.m.

RDCK to implement new emergency alert notification system

System also includes sends alerts for water advisories

Two search and rescue calls involving children end with happy outcomes

The incidents took place in Trail and Salmo area on July 5 and 6

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read