Coronavirus: Canada Goose to start making medical gear for health-care workers

Canada Goose is joining the fight against COVID-19 by helping to manufacture medical gear for health-care workers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The apparel maker, best known for its down-filled parkas, says it will start manufacturing medical gear at two of its facilities next week, including in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen said Wednesday the province is “working hard” to ramp up health care services and is asking businesses to help out where they can with additional supplies.

“Across Canada, there are people risking their lives every day on the front lines of COVID-19 in health-care facilities, and they need help,” Canada Goose president and CEO Dani Reiss said in a release.

“Now is the time to put our manufacturing resources and capabilities to work for the greater good.”

The company says it will start by making scrubs and patient gowns at its Winnipeg and Toronto facilities, and it expects to have the gear ready to be shipped at no cost to hospitals across Canada next week.

Roughly 50 employees at each shop will take on the work with the goal of producing 10,000 units, and the company says it will extend production to additional facilities as needed.

Canada Goose stressed that it is enforcing strict health and safety protocols at its facilities and has created a support fund for employees impacted by store and manufacturing closures who are not eligible for government assistance.

To that end, Reiss says he will forego his salary for at least the next three months and that it will be used for the fund.

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“Our employees are ready, willing and able to help, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

“It’s the Canadian thing to do.”

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