Premier Doug Ford announces $2.5M to help make ventilators in Guelph

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was in Guelph, Ont. Tuesday alongside Deputy Premier Christine Elliott and Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli, where he announced a partnership with Linamar to produce 10,000 ventilators for the provincial stockpile in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered up $2.5 million to Guelph-based Linamar Corp. during a visit to the Royal City on Tuesday afternoon.

Ford toured the manufacturer’s innovation hub where the company started production on ventilator components during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Linamar has partnered with O-Two Medical Technologies and Bombardier to produce 10,000 e700 ventilators.

The funding announced will help the manufacturer retool its assembly line to make parts for the devices.

“Having enough of these life-saving devices is critical,” Ford said during a news conference at Linamar. “It’s the difference between being ready for the worst or not.”

It was the premier’s first trip to Guelph and part of his tour around the province to thank businesses for stepping up during the pandemic with supplies to fight the pandemic.

He said companies like Linamar and O-Two deserve all the credit for helping out when the entire world was scrambling for equipment.

“It’s about collaboration between the private sector all three levels of government working together,” Ford said. “Not only are we going to produce everything here in Ontario, we’re going to supply it to the rest of the country, so we don’t have to rely on any foreign government foreign leader.”

Linamar quickly shifted production towards ventilators in the early days of the pandemic after being contacted by various medical companies.

CEO Linda Hasenfratz said in a matter of two weeks they were manufacturing parts for ventilators.

“Our team was truly impressive in pulling off this in an incredibly condensed time frame,” she said. “They literally worked day and night, seven days a week to make this happen.”

Hasenfratz added that the projects also allowed Linamar to call back about 600 of their 9,000 employees in Guelph for full-time work.

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Ford’s stop in Guelph comes as Ontario reported 251 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

Almost half of the cases were recorded in Toronto and Peel Region as the provincial case total now stands at 45,068.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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