The federal government has launched an online hub where organizations buying and selling personal protective equipment can meet.

"Across the country, efforts are underway to ease restrictions implemented to fight COVID-19,” said Anita Anand, minister of public services and procurement. “This Supply Hub reflects our pan-Canadian approach and assembles a wealth of resources and information so that organizations have a single window to assist them in buying or selling personal protective equipment."

The Supply Hub connects Canadian organizations from coast to coast with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about PPE, including consumer guidance. Buyers will find PPE supplier lists, in addition to guidance to help plan their PPE purchases, including best practices to keep people safe, where to find PPE for purchase, consumer advice and additional health and safety resources.

Suppliers will also get information on product specifications, procurement and donation opportunities and business guidance and programs.

“As Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to engage with our partners and advisory groups, the hub will evolve to include additional resources,” said the government.

In May, Manitoba partnered with several organizations to develop and launch an online marketplace that will connect businesses in the province with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials needed for businesses to operate.

“Our government has heard from the business community that they need help to access supplies needed to enable them to open and operate safely during the pandemic,” said Premier Brian Pallister then. “We are proud to join forces with our trusted partners in the business and technology community to launch B2B Manitoba, a tool that will connect businesses with suppliers.”

A recent survey found that 60 per cent of healthcare workers in Canada reported anxiety at levels surpassing an accepted threshold for clinical screening for the condition, and this is most prevalent among those whose needs for personal protective equipment have not been met.

On March 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19, which will create pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses so they can help during this critical time.

The plan introduces new measures to directly support these businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19. These products could include critical health and safety supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, and disease tracking technology.