The Ontario government announced it’s giving $2 million to a Bracebridge, Ont., company to make what it says are “lighter” and “more comfortable” face masks.
The government says its investment in local company Smart Safe Science will create 50 jobs and produce 200,000 masks monthly when at full capacity.
“Face masks have become an essential part of our daily lives during these unprecedented and uncertain times,” Ontario’s economic development, job creation and trade minister, Vic Fedeli, said.
“That’s why we are supporting companies like Smart Safe Science so they can provide groundbreaking made-in-Ontario solutions. Through investments like this, we are strengthening our domestic supply chain for vital personal protective equipment.”
For frontline workers, wearing a mask is part of the job nowadays, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at the press conference Friday.
“It can be really, really uncomfortable, but they wear it to save lives,” Ford said. “For those front-line workers, I’m proud to say help is here thanks to the hard work of the team at Smart Safe Science. They have developed an Ontario-made solution to this problem.”
Ford said the local company has created a “lighter, breathable, medical-grade” mask that will keep front-line workers safe.
The province says Smart Safe Science will make face masks that use a NIOSH 95+ certified filter, which is used in N95 masks.
The masks will also come with attachments that monitor body temperature while worn, which will allow users to connect a smart device in the mask to their phone through an application that will send real-time data about the user’s health status.
Smart Safe Science is a subsidiary of True North Printed Plastics, a company that makes electronic interfaces for items likes medical and military equipment.