Prime Minister Trudeau funnels money towards medical supplies

More ventilators on way

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UPDATE 9 a.m.

Hundreds of ventilators are now in production as part of the federal government's efforts to shore up national stockpiles of crucial equipment needed to fight COVID-19.

Thornhill Medical, a Toronto-based company, says it's making 500 ventilators that will arrive at hospitals and health-care facilities in early April.

The company is one of three signed up by the federal government on March 20 to produce critical goods. Two others are also at work, one making masks and another developing rapid COVID-19 test kits.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the government has signed letters of intent with five other companies to also produce equipment.

Overall, the government has spoken to 3,000 different firms, he said.

But how much gear the country will need is up to Canadians themselves, Trudeau said.

"We will need more masks, ventilators and testing kits, but how many more we need depends entirely on you," Trudeau said.

"If you stay home and follow public health recommendations, you can slow the spread."

– The Canadian Press

UPDATE 8:38 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government is spending $2 billion to procure more personal protective equipment for front-line workers in the COVID-19 fight.

ORIGINAL 7:47 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to address the nation again this morning at 8:15 a.m. Pacific time in what has become a daily occurrence from Ottawa.

Trudeau is expected to speak on the latest efforts the federal government is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of cases in Canada continues to climb.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Small Business Minister Mary Ng are to hold a news conference to provide details of how the program will work and how much of a dent it will put in federal books that have already plunged deep into the red as the government scrambles to cushion the economic and health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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