The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, made the following statement:
“Just over one year ago, Canada was hit by the most severe public health crisis in over a century. The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of our lives. Through these unprecedented times, Canadians have demonstrated remarkable mobilization and response, finding innovative solutions to address the situation, adjusting and learning from it.
“I am incredibly grateful for the response we received from Canadian industry to our Made in Canada call to action. Over the past 12 months, more than 6,500 companies answered that call, retooling their operations to produce vital personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies. From producing hand sanitizer, surgical masks and face shields to manufacturing medical gowns and ventilators, Canadian companies stepped up to the challenge.
“In addition to efforts made to secure the Canadian production of PPE, the Government of Canada has made investments totalling approximately $1.2 billion to support the research and development of vaccines and pharmaceuticals and the building of biomanufacturing capacity.
“Canada’s researchers from coast to coast to coast stepped up to the challenges of COVID-19, building upon their foundation of excellence. They immediately began investigating the new virus, uncovering fresh knowledge and insights, and offering expert advice on how to deal with this pandemic, while planning for possible future threats to come.
“Using science, technology and innovation as a competitive advantage, the government has taken and will continue to take rapid and strategic actions to address both the ongoing pandemic and economic recovery. This will offer opportunities for Canada to become more resilient and self-sufficient, while fueling our economic recovery, innovation and growth.
“The last year has shown how, in difficult times, Canadians pull together for the greater good. Our combined efforts have strengthened and expanded Canada’s domestic capacity to manufacture supplies across the country. It is with the same resolve that we are working to improve and rebuild Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity as we move toward economic recovery. I sincerely thank all of the Canadians, companies, and organizations that have stepped up to help in this time of need.”