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March 21, 2020

A message from the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry regarding critical supplies

Please see a message the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, has asked us to share with our members.

Dear colleagues,

The current COVID-19 pandemic presents Canada with unprecedented challenges. In response, we must all work together to protect the well-being of Canadians and our economy. Let me begin by thanking you for your leadership and for your institutions’ research efforts to help us understand, combat and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. It is critical that our health system, care providers, and first responders have safe, effective medical devices, supplies and equipment necessary both to protect against the virus’ spread and to treat infected patients. The Government of Canada has put out a call to our country’s manufacturers to assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies.

I am now turning to our university, college and polytechnic partners to ask for your support in meeting Canada’s needs on this front. Specifically, I am seeking your cooperation in:

  • Identifying potential stocks of personal protective equipment from your laboratories that might be available for procurement by the government during this crisis. This could include gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • Identifying innovative manufacturing solutions to address potential shortages of essential equipment. I know that Health Canada has approached some of your institutions regarding the use of your 3D printers to produce medical devices, components, or supplies such as goggles, disposable tubing sets, and ancillary ventilation components. I invite your thoughts on other innovative manufacturing solutions that could position Canada at the forefront of the world’s COVID-19response and protect the health of Canadians across the country.

If your institution is able to provide personal protective equipment from your stocks, I encourage you to consult PSPC’s Buy and Sell web site at the following URL: This site identifies the specific products that the government is seeking and provides a link to the submission form.To share your ideas on innovative manufacturing solutions, I invite your institution to contact Amanda Woodley at

The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on Canada will be all the worse if we face the equipment shortages that some other countries are experiencing. We can avoid this if we commit to working together to protect the health of Canada and Canadians.


The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

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