B.C. company, Inno Lifecare, is manufacturing the first made-in-Canada N95 surgical respirators approved for sale by Health Canada in its Tri-City facility. It made a million in its first week of production. (Provided)

B.C. company, Inno Lifecare, is manufacturing the first made-in-Canada N95 surgical respirators approved for sale by Health Canada in its Tri-City facility. It made a million in its first week of production. (Provided)

B.C. company 1st in Canada authorized to sell surgical N95 masks made in-house

After 1 million masks made in first week of production, the company’s eyes are set on a contract with the B.C. government

A Vancouver company is the first to sell Canadian-made surgical N95s approved for doctors on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic – it’s already made a million of them.

CEO Jae Park of Inno Lifecare, a division of global confectionary Inno Foods, made the news public Thursday (March 25).

The Tri-City facility pumped out a million respirators in its first week since being authorized by Health Canada.

“By next week, we will be shipping two-and-a-half million masks to Canadian health care facilities in need,” Park said, mentioning a contract in the works with B.C.’s government.

The N95 masks are manufactured in-house using 95 per cent Canadian materials and technology created by company engineers.

Inno Foods expanded last year to add medical-grade masks to its list of offerings.

READ MORE: 3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

The family-owned company had already been using robots to process a high volume of goods, said Park.

“Scaling quickly to supply Canada with medical masks wasn’t very hard to do when we were already supplying the whole world with food.” 

Especially with motivation after seeing the country “caught with its pants down” during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Park.

“Canada doesn’t make too many high-value manufactured items. We rely on other countries but don’t have leverage because we outsource.”

The N95 masks will help change this, he said, allowing the country to depend less on U.S. suppliers for certified personal protective equipment.

In the United States, N95 prices are as high as $5 per respirator. Inno Lifecare is able to supply the masks directly to hospitals for half the price.

READ MORE: Health Canada issues advisory over fake N95 masks flooding the market

The B.C. company is also the first to use blockchain technology, allowing users to view a mask’s supply chain by scanning a QR code.

“People can see how their individual mask was made, starting even from raw materials used,” said Park. “Here in Canada, proudly.”

With the capacity to make a million N95 masks per week, the founder said “if someone in Canada needs N95 masks – we will deliver.”

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities 



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusNews

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

 

B.C. company, Inno Lifecare, is manufacturing the first made-in-Canada N95 surgical respirators approved for sale by Health Canada in its Tri-City facility. It made a million in its first week of production. (Provided)

B.C. company, Inno Lifecare, is manufacturing the first made-in-Canada N95 surgical respirators approved for sale by Health Canada in its Tri-City facility. It made a million in its first week of production. (Provided)

Just Posted

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

The government map (as of April 22) showing vaccine availability doesn’t have any Saanich Peninsula pharmacies listed, but the situation is fluid, and many readers have already registered. (Province of B.C. screenshot)
Vaccine availability a fluid situation for Saanich Peninsula

Government site may not show pharmacies, but registering still an option

Volunteers with the Esquimalt Farmers Market will be on hand at Bullen Field to direct attendees and clarify public health protocols. The market runs Thursdays now through Sept. 16, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Facebook/Esquimalt Farmers Market)
Esquimalt Farmers Market continues tonight at Bullen Field

Award-winning market features farm-fresh products, food trucks, COVID-19 protocols for safety

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

While Buccaneer Days public events are cancelled again, such as the annual parade, a home and business decorating contest will allow the spirit of the event to live on. (Facebook)
Esquimalt Buccaneer Days COVID-19 cannon fodder again

Annual celebration cancelled a second time, decorating contest full steam ahead

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read