The recent notice of a limited strike by the longshoremen’s union, including no work at all on weekends, is devastating not only to Canada’s economic competitiveness, but also to its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
(OTTAWA, ON) – April 24, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s senior director of international policy, Mark Agnew, issued the following statement regarding the need for national production of personal protective equipment (PPE) ahead of re-opening the economy:
“As Canada shows early indications of flattening the COVID-19 curve, conversations around when and how to safely re-open the economy have identified a critical roadblock to getting our businesses up and running again: personal protective equipment, or PPE, for workers.
PPE is currently, and rightfully, prioritized for front-line healthcare workers. While many firms across Canada have re-tooled to produce PPE, shortages will likely continue for the private sector.
Under normal circumstances, businesses could source PPE on the open market, but trade restrictions on these products and government healthcare demands have made the issue one of national concern. That is why we believe the federal and provincial governments must ensure that PPE is widely available to businesses to protect employees and customers as well as avoid a resurgence of COVID-19.
Time is of the essence. Re-starting businesses and supply chains is not an overnight process. Depending on the complexity of the business, it can take days to several weeks. Workers will need PPE to enable a business to re-open its doors to the public and keep supply chains moving.
Canada needs a national plan to make PPE readily available to businesses, workers and Canadian consumers that includes domestic and international sourcing. By working together, business and governments can move quickly to make this happen, as we have already seen throughout this crisis. The Canadian Chamber is ready to do our part on this important initiative.”
the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.
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