Since launching the Ontario Together web portal, Premier Doug Ford in his latest address Saturday has said more than 14,000 businesses have stepped up in the fight against COVID-19. But more is needed.
The province in response has launched a $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals and help businesses retool their operations.
All submissions will be reviewed and prioritized according to the greatest need and the speed at which a proposal can be implemented.
The Province of Ontario launched the portal on March 21, to encourage manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators to provide essential supplies and equipment to support front line workers in the efforts to contain the virus.
More than 14,000 submissions have been received to date, offering such products as hand sanitizer, medical gowns, masks, testing equipment and ventilators.
“In years from now when we look back on this critical period, the virus will not define this moment, we will define this moment,” said Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park on Saturday.
“We will be proud when we look back, not because of what the government is doing for the people - that’s the smallest part of our story - it’s what the people are doing for each other.”
More than 7,500 emergency supply submissions have generated nearly $90 million in purchases including the following:
- 5.1 million gloves
- 20 million masks
- 250,000 face shields
- 50,000 units of clip-on hand sanitizer for the Ontario Provincial Police
New challenges posed by the government through the Ontario Together portal are added on a regular basis and include the previous call for ideas on how to deliver mental health service, ensure the strength of supply chains and deliver advice to the small business community. Of which the province has received more than 1,200 submissions.
The latest challenge is for solutions to support remote learning.
“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.”
Find more information and how to get involved here.
Premier Doug Ford will be making an announcement at Queen’s Park Saturday, accompanied by Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health and Rod Phillips, minister of finance.
Watch the live-streamed address in the video below, beginning at 1 p.m.