The following is an excerpt from Kitchener Today article written by Tim Herd on February 5, 2021.
During wave one of the COVID-19 pandemic, a local PPE manufacturer known as The Canadian Shield was able to work directly with the public sector and the health care system under the emergencies act.
However, since PPE volumes have stabilized those organizations, such as long-term care facilities are governed by contracts and have to purchase 95 per cent on contract.
"So (The Canadian Shield) is now actively looking at exports, we've invested pretty heavily in automation and technology to get competitive, we can make and sell masks at a competitive rate to other countries like China, but we don't have direct access to the market," said Jeremy Hedges, Founder and CEO of The Canadian Shield during Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS.
Currently, Hedges and his team are reviewing ways on how to open up both public sector and health care contracts for Canadian manufacturers while discovering ways to make it easier to enter the market.
"Right now, there's sort of 5 per cent left on that table, so to access that other 95 per cent it could be as long as seven years before that volume becomes available."
Hedges said they are not experiencing a massive demand, and have a sizeable stockpile of PPE, however, he does see a "wild card" as several European countries have implemented mandatory medical masks.
"I could picture and I've seen a lot of conversation in the media about implementing a similar policy here so that demand might skyrocket again, and we'll be chasing production volumes to get there."
Hedges added The Canadian Shield has calculated if medical masks become mandatory in Canada they could produce about 20 per cent of the volume.