UPDATED: Québec company wins $113 million federal mask-making contract, hires SNC-Lavalin to build Canadian factory

Québec company wins $113 million federal mask-making contract, hires SNC-Lavalin to build Canadian factory

UPDATE 11 AUGUST 2020: Medicom reports that the first mask shipment from their Montreal facility to the Canadian Government is ready... but they haven't put them in the mail yet.

A Quebec-based company with no Canadian factories was awarded over $113 million in Federal contracts to make single-use facemasks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

AMD Medicom Inc., headquartered in Montreal, was the only Canada-based company which won any contracts from the Canadian government to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 crisis global pandemic. But the company itself has no Canadian factories, having closed its only manufacturing plant in the country in June of 2019.

Currently, the company sources its PPE from plants in China, Taiwan, France, and Georgia, though it is unknown how much of its stock is produced by each plant.

While Medicom was awarded over $19 million to ship masks into Canada from its other factories, an additional $93 million was provided under the provision the masks be made in Canada, despite the company having no active manufacturing facilities in the country.

Medicom was provided the contracts in March 2020, shortly after COVID was declared a global pandemic, but questions quickly accumulated as to when Medicom would begin manufacturing the masks within the conditions of the contract.

As early as June 9, Conservative MP Kelly McCauly grilled the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand, on Medicom's fulfillment.

Anand responded that Medicom would begin producing Canadian surgical masks “towards the end of July, and the N95 respirators towards the end of August.”

On June 17, Minister Anand praised Medicom for “making tens of millions of N95 respirators and surgical masks annually, right here in Canada.” Medicom still did not have an operational facility in Canada at the time.

Medicom subsequently received an additional $4 million from the government of Quebec towards building a factory in Montreal with SNC-Lavalin as the building contractor, and while it has allegedly begun producing masks, it is unclear how many have been made in Canada.