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Calgary companies continue to boost Canada-made medical mask supply

While Alberta may have recently announced a medical mask deal for a local company, there’s another local outfit leading the charge to have Canada-made, medical grade masks for consumers.

Afif Tabish’s Creative Cycle and his partners from Eastern Canada just got Level 3 Health Canada certification for their disposable medical masks. Now they’re making them available across the country. They call the product MasterMask.

While the manufacturing facility is in Ontario, Tabish is operating a fulfillment centre right here in Calgary. Should the need for locally-built, medical grade masks continue, he said they’d look at expanding operations to meet the demand.

“We’ve done everything just to make sure that what we’re producing benefits not just civilians, but medical facilities,” said Tabish.

They’re hoping to create a stable source of Canadian-made products, to avoid the pressure early in the pandemic of securing high-quality, medical-grade masks.

“The medical market will always need masks no matter and now they have the opportunity to buy Canadian-made product,” he said.

“Before COVID, they didn’t.”

He said many of the disposable masks on the market are low-quality, not meeting Health Canada testing requirements. These ones make the grade, he said.

Another local company to supply 40 million masks

Last week, the province announced a local manufacturer would be awarded a two-year, $60 million contract to provide ASTM F2100, Level 1 Medical Face Masks.

AHS and Orpyx Medical Technologies entered into the agreement after Orpyx responded to Alberta’s Bits and Pieces program.

Those masks will be distributed to health-care workers, patients, visitors and families at AHS and affiliate health-care sites across the province, they said.

“This is a great example of the way businesses have stepped up to help get us through the pandemic, and the importance of health care as an economic driver,” said Alberta Health Minister, Tyler Shandro.

Tabish said their masks are available for order by both the public and business who need them.

While they are online, they don’t sell the masks through an online system. Tabish said that’s because they want to be open and flexible to the needs of individuals and potential non-profits looking to fill masks orders.

People fill out an online form and get a phone call in return.

“Every person has a different need. Pricing fluctuates depending on quantities and whatnot, so so that’s what makes us different than other people,” he said.