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Tackling the N95 respirator demand challenge: a Canadian solution.

Healthcare worker wearing N95 respirator.

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many of us to pivot our strengths to fields that require our immediate attention.

At 3M, we know the critical role we play in restricting the spread of the pandemic. Our science and technologies provide a wide range of solutions. These include N95 respirators that defend those who safeguard Canadians' health and safety from airborne particles, and purifiers that are aiding in the race to discover a vaccine.

Our highest priority is to keep our employees and the public, including healthcare workers and first responders, safe. Now, we are taking another step. A step towards protecting our heroic healthcare workers, first responders, and those in essential infrastructure and industry roles who strive to ensure every Canadian's health and safety. 

Since January, we have doubled our global output of N95 and other respirators to more than one billion per year, and we are on track to deliver two billion respirators by the end of 2020.  However, we were aware of the need to increase the availability of N95 respirators here in Canada.

I am proud to announce that 3M Canada will begin manufacturing N95 respirators in Brockville, Ontario. This will help ensure Canada’s self-sufficiency for years to come. 

Expanding the Brockville manufacturing plant to commence N95 respirator production.

In collaboration with the Canadian and Ontario governments, we have built a roadmap to expand our manufacturing facility in Brockville, with construction beginning later this month.

Brockville, Ontario manufacturing plant

When the expansion will be fully operational by 2021, we will continue working with the government and health agencies to get the N95 respirators into the hands of those who need them most - healthcare workers, first responders, and those in critical infrastructure roles.

The expansion will help to ensure a consistent domestic supply of this critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for the foreseeable future and will strengthen the North American region’s PPE supply chain for both the U.S. and Canada.

A Canadian solution for a global challenge.

We are proud to provide a made-in-Canada solution that prioritizes the needs of frontline healthcare workers and industries supporting health and safety.

Running the course of the pandemic can feel like a marathon. However, it fills me with hope to see how much we can achieve working together. From community donations to those in need to curbing price gouging, we have made considerable progress in Canada against COVID-19.

I want to thank the Canadian and Ontario governments for their close collaboration on this effort, and every 3M colleague for working towards the common goal we share: the goal of helping to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every Canadian.


About the Author

[enBio=Penny has more than 20 years of global brand and marketing experience, including Global Marketing Director of 3M’s Safety and Industrial Business Group, its largest business based at 3M global headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Penny also led 3M’s 2015 global rebrand: “Science. Applied to Life.™” She started her career at 3M Canada in 2000 and in January 2020 moved back to Canada to take on the role of President. ],[enJob=President, 3M Canada],[frBio=Penny possède plus de 20 ans d’expérience en marque et en marketing à l’échelle mondiale, y compris en tant que directrice du marketing mondial au sein du Secteur sécurité et industriel de 3M, soit le plus important secteur de l’entreprise basé à son siège social mondial de St. Paul, au Minnesota. Penny a également dirigé le changement de la marque 3M à l’échelle mondiale en 2015 : « Science. Au service de la Vie.MC ». Elle a débuté sa carrière au sein de 3M Canada en 2000, puis elle est retournée au Canada en janvier 2020 pour occuper le poste de présidente. ],[frJob=Présidente, 3M Canada]

Profile Photo of Penny Wise
Helping the world respond to COVID-19.