A Univeristy of Victoria political scientist wants to see Canada be self-sufficient when it comes to the production of personal protective equipment. (Black Press Media file photo)

UVic political scientist wants B.C. pulp mills to help produce masks, gowns

Claire Cutler says Canada needs to become self-sufficient when manufacturing PPE

A University of Victoria political scientist wants to see Canada become self-sufficient in manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) as the current purchasing is taking place in a “highly fractured, complex, competitive market that lacks transparency.”

According to Claire Cutler, fraud and piracy are occurring in the market through predatory pricing, fraudulent and defective supplies, and with shipments sometimes disappearing altogether. She adds that this “wild west” scenario makes countries such as Canada, vulnerable to not being able to secure adequate PPE to meet the demand of the pandemic.

READ ALSO: University of Victoria to study COVID outbreaks from your poop

Cutler explains how the opacity and complexity of the PPE market make supply-chain tracing almost impossible.

“There are multiple legal jurisdictions involved when PPE is being moved, for instance, from China to Canada. And it is often difficult to determine exactly where a breach of contract occurred, in order to enforce contractual obligations,” she said in a press release from UVic.

READ ALSO: University of Victoria chemist works to create at-home COVID-19 test

Cutler’s research examines the extent to which supply-chain contracts advance human and workers’ rights, environmental sustainability and are capable of advancing corporate social responsibility. She says the federal and provincial governments in Canada need to make becoming self-sufficient in producing PPE a priority.

Currently, Canada – and most of the world – receives the majority of its PPE from China.

Cutler wants to see the government provide incentives so PPE can be produced locally, adding there is an absence of any long-term strategic planning by successive federal governments in securing the supply of PPE and other medical supplies.

A start, she says, would be reopening pulp mills in B.C., in order to produce the pulp needed for masks and gown productions.

”This could be an exciting opportunity for Canada and B.C. to develop a new industry that would allow us to be self-sufficient and possibly become a major global supplier of masks and gowns,” she says.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

University of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Const. Graham Walker of the Saanich Traffic Safety Unit recreates an incident involving a driver who police say attempted to film the scene of a crash while driving up Highway 17. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police track down driver caught filming accident scene on Pat Bay Highway

Driver issued $368 ticket, points on their licence

The 21st annual Japanese Cultural Fair streams online Oct. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. (Facebook/Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society)
Esquimalt’s Japanese Cultural Fair takes tastes, experiences and cultures online

21st annual free event streams Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at noon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read