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Ontario awards two contracts to manufacture 500M face masks


Ontario has awarded two contracts to Viva Healthcare Packaging and Canada Masq to produce 500 million face masks over the next five years.

The companies will help to produce a local pipeline of personal protective equipment (PPE) to combat COVID-19 and other illnesses.

The contracts are for level 1 and level 2 surgical/protective masks, which will be produced at a rate of approximately 50 million masks per year. The masks have been tested to meet the standards of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).

Viva Healthcare Packaging Canada, operating in Scarborough, used a grant from the Ontario Together Fund to retool its operations to increase mask-making capacity.

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The company is now one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of medical-grade masks, and has created 115 new jobs in the local community.

Canada Masq, based in Richmond Hill, started mask designs in April 2020 shortly after the start of the pandemic, and mass production of masks began in December. Canada Masq has added 58 full-time jobs to the community.

Procurement of PPE will be one of the first responsibilities to be transferred from the ministry to Supply Ontario, the government’s new centralized procurement agency.

The government’s contracts with Viva Healthcare and Canada Masq are in addition to those previously announced with 3M Canada and PRIMED. These contracts and more will be overseen centrally by Supply Ontario in the future.