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Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) remains hard at work, securing the life-saving PPE and medical supplies needed for our frontline healthcare workers, as well as supporting access to supplies for frontline federal employees. As we move forward with the next phase of Canada’s response and as more Canadians gradually return to the workplace, we know that the needs of businesses and organizations providing essential services across the country to access PPE and other essential supplies is only increasing.

Given the intense pressure on supply chains for these much needed supplies as a result of the pandemic, Minister Anand announced yesterday, that our Government is introducing the Essential Services Contingency Reserve (ESCR).

  • The Essential Services Contingency Reserve (ESCR) was introduced as a responsive measure to provide an emergency backstop for access to personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as items like non-medical face coverings and disinfection products on a cost recovery basis, where other sources of supply are unavailable.
  • On July 16th, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a federal investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make our country more resilient to possible future waves of the virus. As part of the Safe Restart Agreement, the Government of Canada will commit $4.5 billion to purchase PPE for essential service workers, for national use. Part of this funding will assist in establishing the ESCR.
  • Our top priority has been – and continues to be – procuring equipment and supplies for our frontline healthcare workers. The ESCR complements existing PPE support being provided to frontline health care workers by the PHAC and provinces and territories.
  • We understand that the pandemic has added significant pressure to the supply chains for these essential items, and has presented the need for new supplies. In response, we have introduced the ESCR to help protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to avoid an imminent risk of a significant disruption in access to essential services.
  • The ESCR will begin operating on August 3, 2020, and will be available to help essential services organizations that have explored all other sources of supply, and have been unable to acquire the supplies that they need to avoid imminent disruptions in service.
  • The inventory includes, but is not limited to KN95 respirators, surgical masks, non-medical reusable cloth face coverings, non-medical disposable face coverings, gowns, face shields, hand sanitizer, disinfection wipes and gloves. A list of available products and a price catalogue will be available to eligible organizations upon request.
  • Organizations and businesses that urgently require access to a short-term supply of PPE and meet the eligibility criteria will be able to apply online.  Requests to access the ESCR must be in support of essential services, where an organization is facing shortages of PPE and other critical supplies, which poses a significant risk of disruption in service affecting Canadians.
  • More details regarding ESCR can be found here:

As we move into this next phase of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our government is committed to ensuring the safe restart of our economy, protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and to minimizing any interruption in the delivery of essential services like transportation, food processing and utility infrastructure that are critical to our recovery.