“Why weren't any Ontario manufacturers included in the purchase?”
The owner of an Ottawa-area PPE manufacturer wrote to his local Liberal MP Chandra Arya last August to ask for details on a “very sizable” sole sourced single-use face mask contract handed to Medicom, a company with no Canadian factories.
Rebel News reported on the Medicom contract last summer:
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.
Michael Hothi, the owner of Trico Packing and Print Solutions, contacted the MP representing Nepean on August 11, 2020.
The email reads, in part:
We have recently become aware of another purported “closed door” single source purchase awarded by [the Federal] Government involving a long term contract for the purchase of PPE. According to a recent article published in the Toronto Sun by Sun Media, a Quebec Company (ADM Medicom Inc.) has been awarded a $382,000,000 sole source contract for PPE.
Why weren't any Ontario manufacturers included in the purchase?
It seems as though the Province of Quebec was involved in the 10 year contract, was Ontario involved or approached?
Some key points we would like to bring to your attention are;
1. Our Operations at Trico Packing and Print Solutions Inc. includes operation in a 60,000 sq ft facility with zero funding received to start up our PPE manufacturing operations. Medicom received $4 million in funding for start up for 60,000 sq ft facility.
2. Trico has been operational as of July 1, 2020 producing over 2 million masks monthly. Medicom has yet to confirm its operational status and quantities being produced in Canada (as purported in the article).
3. Trico currently has over 20 employees involved in our PPE manufacturing and sales and looks to be expanding that to over 40 in the coming months.
Some of the questions and concerns we have are;
1. How is it that Trico was fully operational and followed all protocol, yet the contract seems to be single sourced?
2. Where any other Canadian mask manufacturers approached?
3. Considering the number of mask manufacturers in Canada, wouldn't it be in the best interest for the Government to have an open and transparent bidding process?
The contract itself is very sizable and seems to be a lengthier term than most. With tens of millions of masks required, the Federal Government has secured 33 jobs at the newly built facility. If the Government would have allowed for a coordinated and collective approach by contracting several manufacturers; more Canadian[s] would have been employed. Last but not least, we are interested in the details of the contract i.e.: the price point, production rates, timelines, terms of the contract.
Arya forwarded the email to Public Services and Procurement staffer Dovejot Parmar, asking: “Please provide us info for response.”
Six days later, Parmar forwarded the email to another Liberal staffer, Tyler Freeman, asking “Can you look into this?”
You can read the full email exchange below.
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