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Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19 Launched by Trudeau

Published on
March 20, 2020

This morning, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a national strategy to mobilize Canadian industry to Fight COVID-19.  The Government will create pathways to deploy resources and to help facilities retool production lines to manufacture medical products and equipment including masks, gowns, hand sanitizer and ventilators.

Trudeau said “From the very beginning of this outbreak, our priority has been the safety and health of all Canadians. We’re partnering with Canadian industry and business so we can act fast to ensure our health care providers have the products and supplies they need to help Canadians. Together, we are mobilizing all of Canada to fight the spread of the virus.”

The Prime Minister also confirmed that the Canada/US border will close at midnight tonight for all non-essential travel for tourism and recreation. Trade and commerce will continue.

The strategy focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions, and procurement of essential supplies. Further, it makes available all existing funding programs to help fight COVID-19.

Actions Include

  • Build the industrial capability needed to manufacture critical supplies at scale in Canada. This will be done either by re-tooling the manufacturing lines of existing Canadian businesses or rapidly scaling up the production of those that already produce these products.
  • Refocus Canada’s existing industrial and innovation programs, by adding to their mandate a requirement that they prioritize the fight against COVID-19. This includes: (a) the Strategic Innovation Fund to deliver direct support to Canadian companies for large-scale projects; (b) National Research Council of Canada to expedite research and development with small and medium-sized enterprises and; (c) Innovation Superclusters to tap into a national network of 1,800 members, and Innovative Solutions Canada to help companies commercialize products more quickly
  • Deliver direct support to key Canadian companies that are working on large-scale and later-stage research and development projects aimed, in the immediate term, at producing countermeasures to COVID-19.
  • Challenge innovative companies to develop research-based solutions, technologies, and products that can address a variety of COVID-19 issues.
  • Source equipment needed to support Canada’s response to COVID-19 here in Canada. The Government of Canada will use existing supply arrangements and innovative, flexible procurement approaches. It is also reaching out to suppliers to identify and purchase equipment, supplies, and services needed for Canada’s response to COVID-19. With a view to longer-term support, the Government of Canada will ensure procurement flexibility to support innovation and build domestic manufacturing capacity to supply critical health supplies to Canadians.
  • Massively scale-up production and help companies retool to shift production to crucial medical supplies
  • Expedite new procurement streams to allow a larger number of businesses to provide larger number of items Canadians needs


The Government of Canada reiterated their open procurement call for goods and services that can help fight COVID-19. Below is the link to more information about what products and services the government is looking for and the appropriate forms to submit.


Federal Engagement

As the details of the programs announced today become available, Sussex stands ready to help connect you with the right people in government to help your organization get through these extraordinary times.

As this situation continues to evolve, we will keep you updated.


Please reach out to your Sussex representative directly or to:

Paul Tye - Senior Associate, Federal Government Relations


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