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.

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

Kalesnikoff Lumber will be providing materials for a 21-storey apartment building in Vancouver. Rendering: Henriquez Partners Architects
Kalesnikoff supplying mass timber for several major projects

The West Kootenay lumber company will be making the products at South Slocan facility

School District 8 superintendent Christine Perkins says she’s leaving at the end of the school year. Photo: Tyler Harper
School District 8 superintendent Christine Perkins resigns

Perkins is leaving to take over another district

The Kootenay Lake ferry terminals will receive a number of upgrades this year. File photo
Kootenay Lake ferry terminals to receive upgrades

The transportation ministry announced the $5.5-million project Thursday

Selkirk College has received provincial funding to assist students. File photo
Selkirk College receives funding to assist students

Provincial funding is available to West Kootenay students

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)
Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

Most Read