Canada N95 masks start rolling off Ontario assembly line with aim to ensure domestic supply
COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is the list for today: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anaheim – Alexander VolkovBoston – Jake DeBruskFlorida – TBALos Angeles – Brendan LemieuxMinnesota – Zach PariseMontreal – Joel Armia, Eric StaalNY Rangers – Brett Howden Vancouver – Adam GaudetteAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.
OTTAWA — The federal and Ontario governments are hailing the first N95 masks to roll off a domestic assembly line as a step toward better pandemic protection for Canada now and into the future.
The masks are being produced by 3M Canada following a multimillion-dollar deal between Ottawa and Queen's Park announced last August by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
The agreement saw the two levels of government kick in $23.3 million each to help 3M expand production at its plant in Brockville, about an hour south of Ottawa.
Both leaders said at the time that the deal was intended to ensure Canada was never again at the mercy of unreliable foreign suppliers of personal protective equipment.
NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game
The NHL has decided to ere on the side of caution as a result of Adam Gaudette’s positive COVID-19 test. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames has been postponed. TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweets that the decision was made after more information has surfaced regarding Vancouver’s test results; that information obviously has not yet been made public.
Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand underscored that aim during a virtual event with provincial ministers marking delivery of the first masks, which are now destined for front-line workers.
The deal will see 30 million masks delivered to the federal government and 25 million to Ontario each year for the next five years.
"Our objective in striking this deal from a federal government perspective was to make sure that we had PPE supplies in place in Canada in the short and the long term," Anand said
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"These are masks the Canadian public and front-line health-care workers need, not just for today, but in the months and years to come, given that we do not know whether another pandemic will befall this country."
NHL postpones Canucks' next three games due to COVID
The NHL has postponed three more games for the Vancouver Canucks, shutting them down through April 6 after Travis Hamonic was added to the COVID protocol on Thursday. Hamonic joined Adam Gaudette, who has tested positive for coronavirus and a member of the team’s coaching staff. © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports The NHL has shut down the Canucks through April 6. The league is hoping that the Canucks will be able to play on April 8 against the Calgary Flames, but games against the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets in the coming days will have to be pushed. All practices have also been canceled for the time being.
The new masks come as a third wave of COVID-19 sweeps across the country faster than Canadians get their vaccines.
Dr. Ann Collins, president of the Canadian Medical Association, says member surveys suggest doctors and other health-care professionals are continuing to face shortages of personal protective equipment.
"Clearly it's a critical piece of kit in the battle against this virus," Collins said in an interview.
"We have to be very thankful that we've got this assurance going forward, because we're going to need these masks, it would appear for a very long time."
Collins added that what would also be good to see is domestic production of vaccines, "particularly now with this very aggressive third wave."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Apr. 7, 2021.
The Canadian Press
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