Canada Turned Away 8 Million Masks Because They Weren't Good Enough
They didn't fit our "stringent requirements."
Personal protective equipment for healthcare workers will have to come from somewhere else. Face masks in Canada were turned away because they weren't good enough and didn't meet federal standards. There were eight million N95 respirators in that rejected shipment.
During his daily press conference on May 9, Justin Trudeau was asked about the multi-millions of masks that failed to meet standards and specifications.
"We also know that in the millions of items that we've received, we have to ensure that they are at the top quality expected by our healthcare workers," he said.
These eight million that were turned away are from a Montreal-based supplier and were made in China.
Shipments from this particular supplier have been suspended and that is proof that Canada's system works, according to Trudeau.
"We are testing all those masks, all those items before they reach our healthcare workers because we will not compromise on the safety and protection for our healthcare workers," he said.
The Prime Minister was also asked about the money spent on these products to which he said his government is in talks with the supplier.
"We will not be burdened with masks that do not fit our stringent requirements," he said.
There are also discussions going on about if there are other uses for the rejects.
"We will not be paying for masks that do not hit the standards that we expect to give to our frontline workers," Trudeau said.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand's office confirmed the rejection of eight million pieces of equipment that were below federal standards on May 8.
The minister's office also told The Canadian Press that nearly 11 million masks have been received from this particular supplier.
Only about one million have met federal standards and another 1.6 million are currently being tested.
During his press conference, Trudeau also mentioned that Canada has been hustling to get equipment to people battling COVID-19.
"We have been working very, very hard since the beginning to bring in as much PPE as we possibly can," he said.
There have been 23 flights from China alone with shipments of protective gear.
However, the government is also looking into.
"We have ensured that we are ramping up domestic capacity to be able to ensure that we're covering the needs that we have for the longer term," Trudeau said.