News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 17, 2020

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT INVESTS MORE THAN $211 MILLION IN LOCAL COMPANIES FOR PRODUCTION, PROCUREMENT OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO ADDRESS COVID-19



To date, the Manitoba government has invested more than $211 million with more than 50 Manitoba-based companies to produce or procure medical equipment to address the COVID-19 pandemic, Central Services Minister Reg Helwer and Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today. 
 
“When the pandemic hit Manitoba last March, Manitoba businesses and organizations stepped up, both through donations and through the province’s procurement process, to help us care for Manitobans,” said Helwer. “We will continue to work with these local companies to address the needs of our health-care system, and ensure we have the supplies and equipment we need to ensure continued quality care.”
 
In March and April 2020, Manitoba manufacturers or businesses were asked to register their interest with the Manitoba government if they were able to provide supplies or retool and rapidly scale up production lines to develop products made in Manitoba to help in the fight against COVID-19.  Some of the industry partnerships include:
Precision ADM ($37.8 million) – manufacturing reusable N95 masks based on a design by local doctors Christian Petropolis and Adrian Robertson, as well as manufacturing 500,000 3D nasopharyngeal swabs; 
Grand Medicine Health Services ($8.8 million) – providing two million reusable gloves;
Win-Shield Medical Devices, Inc. ($8.8 million) – recyclable COVID-19 face shields;
MWG Apparel ($3.6 million) – producing 200,000 reusable hospital gowns;
Ben Machine Products and Alberta Operations, subsidiaries of Winnipeg’s Exchange Income Corporation ($3.1 million) – producing face shields and intravenous poles;
Cerebra Health ($2.5 million) – providing 250 ‘Winnipeg’ ventilators’ pending final construction;
Polymer Shapes ($2.1 million) – increasing capacity for face-shield production; 
Canada Goose ($2.1 million) – manufacturing 100,000 reusable gowns;
Winpak ($669,000) – committed to supply Manitoba with 100,000 face shields;
Icon Technologies Ltd. ($498,000) – producing 60,000 face shields; and
Deasil Custom Sewing ($412,000) – manufacturing 41,000 reusable gowns.
 
“The government of Manitoba’s decision to procure PPE locally has enabled Precision ADM to create 80 new jobs, innovate and manufacture domestically when international sources were not available, shipments were stopped at our borders or materials did not meet Canadian health standards,” said Martin Petrak, president and CEO, Precision ADM Inc. “We’ve been able to create, develop and deliver different types of equipment, including the CANSWAB testing device, the Precision AIR medical reusable respirator and medical procedure masks, which are being tested locally at the Orthopaedic Innovation Centre.”
 
The Manitoba government will make it a priority to continue to work with local companies as the pandemic continues, the ministers said. 
 
“Our company was created to bring a ‘made-in-Manitoba’ designed face and head shield to market. We’ve created a manufacturing and distribution operation that is now delivering shields to provincial distribution facilities,” said Rob Ranson, president, Win-Shield Medical Devices Inc. “Tested by a group of front-line, Manitoba-based medical staff and physicians, the results showed the shield “met or exceeded all criteria,” and it has already started to attract global attention as one of the best and most comfortable shields on the market.”
 
In total, Manitoba has secured more than $423 million of personal protective equipment. The ministers noted the partnerships with local businesses have been crucial in the work to care for Manitobans during the pandemic. 
 
“Front-line staff require high-quality personal protective equipment to ensure they and their patients are safe in our health-care facilities,” said Friesen. “Our government is grateful for the hard work and dedication of so many Manitoba companies who stepped up to help their fellow citizens during this difficult time.”
 
For accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
 
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