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

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

The Regional District of North Okanagan has purchased a watercraft to be used by the BC Conservation Officer Service, who will conduct enhanced boat patrols on the Shuswap River during the 2021 floating season. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Boat purchased to provide enhanced Shuswap River oversight this floating season

The regional district purchased an extra watercraft to be used by Conservation Officers this year

The West Kelowna Warriors beat the Vernon Vipers 3-2 in BCHL action Friday, April 16, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
West Kelowna goaltender stymies Vernon Vipers for 3-2 win

The Warriors were outshot 44-23 Friday night, but it didn’t bother Johnny Derrick

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

Most Read