Alberta Premier Jason Kenney lashed out at American President Donald Trump's decision to cut off Canada's supply of N95 respirators from 3M by invoking the US’s Defense Production Act.
"We have made very real sacrifices to stand by our American friends and allies. As a Canadian, I am insulted by the decision today to block the export of critically needed medical equipment that we need to fight the pandemic here in this country."
He called the decision short-sighted, saying the States are net importers of this type of equipment.
So, too, has the Minnesota-based 3M.
In a statement yesterday, the company sighted humanitarian implications of not making respirators available in Canada and Latin Ameria. It believes there is a very real threat of retaliation by other countries.
"If this were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease," the company stated.
Kenney said this type of action makes support for the government's Bits and Pieces program vital.
"It underscores why we must produce our own critical equipment here at home because apparently, we can't even count on our closest friend and ally to be a supplier."
The Bits and Pieces program is based upon measures taken by Canada during the Second World War.
Already, more than 1,100 offers of support have poured into the program from private and non-profit organizations, said Kenney. Offers include commercial vehicles, hotel rooms and mobile trailers, food and water services, hospital gowns, face masks, ventilators, and other personal protective equipment.
“If you produce goods that could be in any way useful to this fight against the pandemic, we ask you to come forward,” said Kenney. “Offer your help and show us the kind of Alberta spirit in innovation, in production that we can generate to help fight the pandemic.”
Those able to step forward can contact the government here.