Guelph-based Linamar Corp. gets $2.5 million from province to make ventilator parts
Premier Doug Ford in Guelph Tuesday for announcement
The province of Ontario has paid $2.5 million to Guelph-based manufacturing company Linamar Corp. to help retool its assembly line to make ventilator parts.
Linamar is working with fellow Ontario companies Bombardier and O-Two Medical Technologies to make 10,000 e700 ventilators, the province said in a news release.
Ventilators are used by patients with severe cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
"I hope we never have to use them, but thanks to the partnership we'll be prepared for the worst," said Premier Doug Ford, who was in Guelph for the announcement Tuesday.
The investment is part of a broader provincial initiative called the Ontario Together Fund. The idea, according to the government, is to increase the province's supply of personal protective equipment and other products while boosting local businesses.
Ford said he's been warned a "second wave" is coming and could be more complicated than the first. Having enough ventilators will be critical, he said.
"It's the difference between being ready for the worst, or not," he said.
In a statement, Guelph MPP and Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner agreed the province needs to bolster its capacity to make medical equipment.
"Stocking the cupboards of our health system must be part of a smart recovery from COVID-19," Schreiner said.
Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said the shift to making medical equipment has allowed the company to bring back about 600 laid-off employees. She did not say whether the company expects to hire more workers in the coming months.