Premier visits Cambridge for $1.4M funding announcement to local company (video)

By Ben Eppel

A local company that retooled to produce N95 respirators during the pandemic is seeing the fruits of their labour. 

Premier Doug Ford visited Eclipse Innovations today (owned by Eclipse Automation), announcing a $1.4 million investment into the company to produce more respirators.

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli joined Ford at the podium.

“With our government's support, Eclipse will create capacity to manufacture up to 1 million N95 respirators per week, and create 17 new full-time jobs here in Cambridge,” said Fedeli. “N95 respirators filter 95 per cent of airborne particles, making it highly effective. And, by adding this new capacity, Eclipse will quickly produce these vital respirators and help ensure the safe reopening of our province.”

Eclipse Innovations is also making the machines that create the respirators, something that Fedeli pointed to as an example of manufacturing returning to Ontario. They're also partnering with Conestoga College to use face-scanning technology, making personally-fitted masks for customers.

Those respirators may be incredibly vital in the months to come, as the province shifts its gaze to the future and a potential second wave.

That second wave could coincide with the flu season, which could put the healthcare system under incredible strain.

Premier Ford said that their government is working on a plan to mitigate that.

“We have a plan that we'll be rolling out, and we're prepared,” said Ford. “We are, as a province, as a people, we are 100 times more prepared now in healthcare and PPE because of great companies like Eclipse, and the great folks that work here. We're so much better prepared, but we can never, ever, ever let our guard down.”

The flu season also coincides with a new school year, a topic on which Premier Ford hit back at some suggestions that schools have a four-day school week.

“I want kids in school five days a week. We don't need to shut to schools down on a Wednesday to clean. What they should be doing is cleaning at nighttime, and having the kids in class five days a week.”

Whether that schooling will be in-class, remote or mixed is still up in the air.

Ford also wouldn't speculate on whether the second wave could mean a reimposition of restrictions, which would strain local businesses that have already been brought to the breaking point.

“These companies have stepped for us, folks, now it's time for us to step up for the companies,” Ford said in a plea to Ontarians to buy local and Canadian. “We do $390 billion in two-way trade with the US. If we can change the buying habits of all of us, and I know it's not possible all the time to always buy made-in-Ontario, made-in-Canada, but if we change the habits of one in 10, that's billions and billions of dollars, and thousands, tens of thousands, of jobs.”

On the topic of the United States, Ford also called the behaviour south of the border “reckless” and criticized their reopening speed.

“I don't want them up here right now,” he said. “After the pandemic, you're welcome to come up but … it's been reckless down there, that's the only way I can describe it. They've been reckless, they moved forward too quickly, and we're going right at the right speed. I'll always listen to health and science over getting pressure from anyone.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today