TORONTO — Thousands of businesses and private citizens have stepped up and offered to help the Ontario government defeat COVID-19. On March 21, Premier Doug Ford launched the Ontario Together web portal appealing to Ontario’s manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators to provide essential supplies and equipment to support front line workers in their fight against the pandemic. To date, the portal has received over 14,000 submissions offering to provide everything from hand sanitizer, to gowns and coveralls, to masks and face shields, to testing equipment and ventilators.
“Since our initial call to action was issued, we have had a tremendous response from Ontario businesses,” said Premier Ford. “These go-getters have stepped up in a big way to support our frontline workers with medical supplies and equipment, and many more are coming forward with a variety of innovative solutions. We have mobilized our manufacturing firepower and are converting it into Canada’s manufacturing workshop. But we need to enlist even more of our entrepreneurial leaders in order to stop this virus in its tracks.”
More than 7,500 emergency supply submissions have generated nearly $90 million in purchases of critical equipment and supplies. These include:
- 5.1 million gloves
- 20 million masks
- 250,000 face shields
- 50,000 units of clip-on hand sanitizer for OPP officers
“When we put out the call to the business community for help, they quickly mobilized to meet the need for essential supplies and personal protective equipment,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “It’s heartening to see how many made-in-Ontario solutions have been offered to directly help those on the frontlines. This incredible response demonstrates the strength of the Ontario Spirit in our business community and world-class manufacturing sector.”
Over 1,200 submissions were received for the first three challenges to support the delivery of mental health solutions to vulnerable populations, ensure the strength of our supply chains and deliver financial advice to the small business community. The government’s next challenge will call for ideas on how to support remote learning, with new challenges posted to the Ontario Together web portal on a regular basis.
To support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal and help businesses retool their operations, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund. All submissions received through the portal are being reviewed and prioritized to focus on solutions that can respond to where the need is greatest and can be implemented quickly.