GM Canada announced that it fulfilled its commitment to the Government of Canada to produce 10 million face masks at cost for the Public Health Agency of Canada. Since the start of production on May 26, 2020, the team at Oshawa Operations produced approximately one million masks a month to help protect front-line workers and other Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to thank the Government of Canada, our suppliers, and our Unifor partners for their support in making this project possible,” said Scott Bell, GM Canada president and managing director. “Although this milestone marks the end of our contract with Health Canada, GM will leverage the speed and agility of our pandemic response to continue supporting our customers and communities.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said: “The last year has shown that in difficult times, Canadians roll their sleeves up together. Canada was in need of PPE, and GM Canada stepped up to be part of the solution by contributing to Canada’s domestic capacity for crucial face masks. I want to thank GM Canada, its workers and Unifor, for playing an important part in Canada’s fight against COVID-19. You are tremendous examples of Canadian kindness and ingenuity.”
Unifor’s National president, Jerry Dias, said, “When Health Canada needed masks urgently to fight the spread of COVID-19, our members were proud to get to work and ramp up production quickly, and these highly skilled workers have shown that they can adapt and step up when needed. This project shows what we can accomplish when the union, government and the employer work together to collaborate, and should the Government of Canada require further orders, Unifor members are ready, willing and able to resume mask production if called upon.”