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Re-tooling for COVID takes another step

Premier Doug Ford, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) provided an update on COVID-19.

Ford’s message to business owners was clear: if you can help us make or obtain a number of essential supplies, we want to hear from you.

“We can’t rely on the rest of the world,” said Ford, and reinforced that Ontario needs to manufacture and supply its own essential products from local facilities and businesses.

The Premier announced that the Ontario Government is launching Ontario Together, a new website that will help businesses and their employees work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19.

Ontario Together is aimed at removing barriers and allowing the province’s manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs.

Premier Ford thanked a number of Ontario businesses, such as auto part manufacturing companies Martinrea, Linamar and General Motors Canada for offering to retool some of their facilities and distilleries like Corby Spirit and Wine and Dillon’s for their assistance in producing hand sanitizer.

The initial calls for innovation from Ontario Together include:

•             Virtual mental health services for people who are vulnerable or living in remote communities;

•             Supply chain resiliency monitoring; and

•             Financial planning and advising for small businesses that can be delivered online at low-cost including advice about relief programs and how to apply.

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