Ontario Urges Business to Join the Fight Against COVID-19

News Release

Ontario Urges Business to Join the Fight Against COVID-19

New Government Website Removes Barriers for Companies to Provide Essential Goods and Services

March 21, 2020 1:00 P.M.

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — 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. This initiative will remove barriers allowing Ontario’s manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford and 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).

“We’re ready to mobilize our manufacturing might to help the entire country and we want Ontario to become the workshop of Canada,” said Premier Ford. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts and we are already seeing people stepping up and offering to help out as we deal with this unprecedented situation. This is a true demonstration of Ontario Spirit.”

Ontario Together will identify the province’s supply challenges and solicit ideas and advice from Ontario’s business and manufacturing communities on how the government can work together to meet the need. Through the portal, companies will be able to submit proposals for the government to procure required goods and services and share creative solutions quickly.

“We’re looking forward to leveraging Ontario’s world class manufacturing and IT sectors to provide the necessary assistance to combat COVID-19,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario’s businesses have shown they are ready and willing to work with us, and we urge them to join our government in finding made-in-Ontario solutions to ensure we continue to stay well supplied.”

“Ontario is home to some of the world’s best hospitals led by dedicated professionals who are working around-the-clock to identify, diagnose and treat our population to manage and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “If we are going to stop the spread of this virus, we will need a steady stream of medical products and supplies to treat patients and keep frontline workers safe and healthy.”

Through the Ontario Together website, the government will be partnering with some of the most innovative people across Canada and around the world, in order to redirect resources and explore new ways of doing business creatively and efficiently.

“Responding to COVID-19 is requiring all of us to think outside of the box and move quickly,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “By relying on status-quo procurement tools and techniques we will be unable to keep up with this rapidly evolving situation. Ontario Together will help us overcome the unique challenges we are facing today.”

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“How firmly this government responded to the crisis of our times will be the only measure that will matter when Ontario is successful in its defence of public health.”

Flavio Volpe

President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA)

“Manufacturing is a key part of our economy and a critical infrastructure. More than ever, our sector and supply chains need support to address the challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. We greatly appreciate the government for taking the initiative to launch a procurement tool that will remove barriers and help Ontario manufacturers and their employees continue to play an essential role in solving this crisis.”

Dennis Darby

President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)

“Our members are working hard to develop tests, treatments, vaccines and many other products to combat COVID-19. This portal will help facilitate partnerships between the private and public sectors as we respond to the current health crisis. LSO applauds the provincial government’s leadership at this critical time.”

Dr. Jason Field

President and CEO, Life Sciences Ontario (LSO)

“A smart way to help Ontario’s economy in these challenging times is by procuring products and services from our innovative small and medium sized businesses and technology scale-ups that can directly reduce the spread of COVID-19. We welcome the government’s efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ by engaging domestic innovators, and we encourage all companies in the health, fintech, remote work and education delivery sectors to support this initiative and apply today.”

Benjamin Bergen

Executive Director, Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI)

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