Quebec company with no factory in Canada lands 10-year $133M sole-sourced federal deal to make PPE

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John Feldsted
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Quebec company with no factory in Canada lands 10-year $133M sole-sourced federal deal to make PPE

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Medicom has since received a $4M loan from the Government of Québec to build a new factory in Montréal and the contractor hired was SNC-Lavalin Group

Sun Media
National Post
Aug 04, 2020

A company in Quebec has been awarded $133,486,868 in sole-sourced federal orders to manufacture PPE even though it didn’t have a factory in Canada.

AMD Medicom Inc. was given the ten-year contract and some MPs are now demanding to see the terms of the contract, according to a report by Blacklock’s Reporter on Tuesday.

“As small and medium-sized businesses we want to know, does everybody have the same opportunity to produce personal protective equipment and sell it, or is the federal government picking winners and losers” Jocelyn Bamford, president of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada, earlier told the Commons government operations committee.

Records show Cabinet signed its initial agreement with AMD Medicom on March 20.

“Canadian companies are answering the call to protect our health care professionals with made-in-Canada solutions,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the time.
“This is exactly the kind of innovative, collaborative thinking we need.”

Medicom received an initial $19,922,868 contract to ship masks from its factories in Augusta, Georgia as well as China, Taiwan and France.

On April 26 it was given a $93,564,000 contract to make masks in Quebec but it closed its last Canadian plant in 2019, in Granby, Que., in 2019.

“How many Canadian companies that we’ve contracted with have been given ten-year contracts similar to Medicom?” Conservative MP Kelly Block from Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek in Saskatchewan.

“Medicom I think is the only ten-year contract I’m aware of,” replied Bill Matthews, deputy minister of public works.

Medicom has since received a $4 million loan from the Government of Québec to build a new factory in Montréal and the contractor hired was SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Neither Medicom nor its federal sponsors would say how many masks the Montréal factory has produced to date.

Mitch Davies, senior assistant deputy minister of industry, testified at a June 5 committee hearing that staff picked Medicom as a supplier without notice to competitors. ... b8d46404a/

Medicom is an international company with a holding Company in Montreal that caters primarily to the dental industry. It cannot be described as a Canadian or local company. Medicom has facilities in Asia, Australia, (now) Canada, France, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, The Netherlands, The Ukraine and the United States.

Our government is creating ‘winners’; in this case, the Province of Quebec, and its old friend and colleague, SNC-Lavalin who is contracted to build the borough of Saint-Laurent facility.

From a Radio Canada report dated May 27 (Machine translation):

A 10-year agreement with the federal government provides for the annual production of 20 million N95 masks and 24 million Level 3 surgical masks. Currently, the majority of these masks are imported from Asia. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their production has become a national strategic issue in recent months.

Mr. Laverdure is hopeful that he will be able to launch Canadian production as early as July. In a project to build a plant in three months, there are always unforeseen events. But so far, all the unforeseen events are under control, he says. Until the day of the start, we are always at the mercy of surprises. But we work hard to make sure there are none.

SNC-Lavalin engineers are working on a 60,000 square-foot site. To meet the tight deadline, Medicom uses exceptional measures, such as bringing equipment in by air, explains Guillaume Laverdure. Although these measures are much more expensive, they include the Montreal-based company receiving a $4 million loan from Investissement Québec "to accelerate" the construction of the plant.

Apparently when it comes to spending public funds, providing money is not limited. We can be forgiven for envying Quebec’s huge Equalization payments which make those provincial government “loans” possible. We can add this to the growing pile of sleazy and stinking federal adventures.

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