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GM Canada celebrates first million masks

General Motors is celebrating as one million masks have now been made at the Oshawa plant.

Since late May, GM Canada has been working to reach its goal of making 10 million masks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GM Canada received its Medical Device Establishment License on April 22, and in just over three weeks, with support from GM’s global supply chain, the company sourced materials, built a ‘Canadian Mask Making (CMM)’ clean room with enhanced safety protocols, installed the required equipment, and recalled and trained 60 workers for two shifts of production in Oshawa in partnership with Unifor. Official start of production began on May 26, 2020.

GM Canada’s Oshawa Operations welcomed Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, and Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand, to help celebrate the one-millionth mask produced out of the Canadian Mask Making (CMM) room for the Government of Canada.

“Thank you to our government for their leadership and partnership as we work towards producing 10 million masks,” says GM Canada president and managing director Scott Bell. “Today marks a significant milestone and we’re proud to do our part to help keep Canadians safer.”

Bains thanked GM Canada on behalf of the federal government.

“Congratulations to GM Canada on the production of one million masks. GM Canada is one of the Canadian companies that have mobilized to develop made-in-Canada solutions to help our health care system. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank GM Canada for joining the collective effort to fight COVID-19,” he says.

Anand took note of the contributions GM Canada is making to the health and safety of Canadians.

“GM Canada’s production of one million face coverings is poised to make an important contribution to protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” says Anand. “GM Canada is among the many Canadian companies that are supplying domestically produced personal protective equipment to support our response to COVID-19, while sustaining and creating jobs right across the country. Thank you for putting your hand up to support Canada’s pandemic response.”

Unifor National President Jerry Dias praised the workers at the Oshawa plant who contributed to the number of masks made. “Unifor members are highly skilled and always ready to step up and help manufacture whatever supplies our country needs to battle COVID-19,” says Dias. “We are proud to partner with GM and Health Canada in this project and many others in the future.”