In April 2020, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), on behalf of the Government of Canada, awarded The Canadian Shield a contract to manufacture 10 million units of its reusable face shields for healthcare providers and essential workers across the country.
As of July 24, 2020, the PPE manufacturer celebrates the fulfillment of this contract, marking a significant milestone for both The Canadian Shield as well as the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19.
“Watching the 10 millionth shield roll off our assembly line is a surreal moment for our team,” said Jeremy Hedges, President of The Canadian Shield. “It represents how far we have come as a company in a few short months, but more importantly, it recognizes the progress our nation has made in establishing critical domestic supply chains for PPE production to ensure Canadians are protected from present and future health crises.”
The federal contract required The Canadian Shield to manufacture 10 million reusable face shields by August 2020. This significant investment was made to ensure that healthcare and frontline workers across Canada have the resources needed to safely combat COVID-19 while reducing their risk of exposure.
To assist in fulfillment of the contract, The Canadian Shield partnered with Waterloo Region-based transportation and logistics company, Challenger Motor Freight. Challenger played a crucial role in transporting all of the face shields manufactured for the federal order from The Canadian Shield’s facility in Waterloo, ON to Health Canada headquarters for distribution.
With the awarding of this contract in April, The Canadian Shield expanded its operating capabilities to address the critical shortage of medical equipment across the country. To further meet demand and grow capacity, the company scaled from less than 10 people to over 310 employees in just a few short months, and moved their operations into a new 50,000 square foot facility.
Approved by Health Canada in March, The Canadian Shield has manufactured over 16 million face shields for frontline and essential workers across the country. In addition to fulfilling this federal contract, the company has worked to fulfill smaller contracts to supply an array of local and regional health authorities and providers across the country.
Since being awarded the federal contract, The Canadian Shield has expanded their production lines and invested in significant equipment machinery to scale their operating capacity:
- March 2020 — The Canadian Shield launched the production of their reusable face shields from their office location in downtown Kitchener and received their Health Canada Medical Device Establishment License.
- April 2020 — With demand for face shields quickly rising, The Canadian Shield team moved their operation to a 50,000 sqft facility in Waterloo in order to increase their production capacity.
- May 2020 — After increasing their manufacturing capabilities and being well on their way to fulfilling their government contract, The Canadian Shield released their reusable face shields for consumer purchase online in quantities of two, five, and 20. To kick off online sales, The Canadian Shield implemented a “buy one, give one” campaign — for every reusable shield purchase online, the company donates a shield to healthcare facilities in need, including long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and other critical services that do not currently have access to PPE.
- June 2020 — Just three months after the initial production had started, The Canadian Shield team had expanded to over 300 employees, producing more than 200,000 reusable face shields a day.
- July 2020 — With the demand for Canadina-made PPE still continuing to grow, The Canadian Shield expanded into procedural mask production — investing in ten automation lines for production and scaling production of ASTM Level 1, 2 and 3 rated masks.
- July 2020 — Launched non-medical cloth face masks for consumer purchase.
- July 2020 — Announced a significant face shield donation to education ministries across Canada for educators returning to work.
- August 2020 — Selected as a member of the Ontario Made Program to encourage local PPE production.
While The Canadian Shield’s reusable face shields and additional PPE product lines ensure that frontline workers are protected from exposure to COVID-19, they also offer a long-term, sustainable solution for Canada’s healthcare industry.
Further, The Canadian Shield has helped reignite Waterloo Region’s manufacturing sector, putting hundreds of people who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic back to work. A living wage employer, The Canadian Shield is committed to facilitating Canada’s economic recovery while bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs back to the Region.
Now recognized as one of Canada’s largest PPE manufacturers, The Canadian Shield is on a path to building a world leading Canadian medical device design and manufacturing organization.