OTTAWA — Procurement Minister Anita Anand says quality problems with medical and protective equipment procured from other countries should not be a surprise given the global surge in demand for these supplies.
Canadian authorities have found one million protective face masks imported from China to be inadequate for health-care workers.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said this week the masks didn’t meet its standards and they will not be distributed to provinces as planned.
Anand acknowledges that Canada has had quality issues with some supplies, but the Public Health Agency is inspecting all incoming equipment before it is distributed across Canada.
She says the government has asked Canadian companies to ramp up efforts to make protective equipment such as surgical masks, gowns, hand sanitizer and ventilators, but in the meantime Canada still needs to bring in internationally sourced supplies, including many from China.
While one federally chartered plane did return to Canada without its cargo, Anand says those goods have since arrived.