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GM to officially begin making masks out of Oshawa

The federal government has contracted General Motors to provide 10 million face masks out of the Oshawa plant.

The masks will be produced over the next year, and production will begin immediately at cost.

“This is one of the proudest moments in our history to be able to step-up and support all Canadians during this challenging time,” says GM Canada President and Managing Director Scott Bell. “With the support and collaboration of the Government of Canada, we will start production in Oshawa today and deliver 10 million face masks to the Public Health Agency of Canada over the next year.”

“Collaboration between government, industry and labour leaders is essential to create economic opportunities for Canadians, while keeping health and safety a top priority,” says Minister of Industry, Science and Innovation Navdeep Bains. “I am incredibly proud of the way Canadian industry has been stepping up to meet Canada’s needs – and General Motors is an excellent example. By retooling a portion of their Oshawa plant, GM is strengthening Canada’s domestic supply for personal protective equipment and contributing to the health of Canadian workers and their families.”

Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand believes this joint initiative demonstrates the way Canadian businesses are helping face the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our government is working hard to procure much needed personal protective equipment now and in the months to come. With this agreement, we are making sure Canada’s frontline healthcare workers know there is a steady and reliable domestic supply of this vital equipment,” she says.

GM Canada received its Medical Device Establishment License on April 22. In just over three weeks, with support from GM’s global supply chain, the company sourced materials, built a Canadian Mask Making 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.

“Unifor members in Oshawa are highly skilled and proud to help GM make whatever our country needs to get through this pandemic,” says Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

GM has implemented a series of safety measures to protect team members through pre-entry health screening, physical distancing, and enhanced on-site cleaning.

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