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Coquitlam company boosting N95 mask production with the province's help

Novo Textiles pivoted in 2020 from manufacturing pillows and dog beds to making surgical masks to help with the COVID-19 crisis.
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Coquitlam manufacturer Novo Textiles is getting more than $580,000 from the provincial government to help it step up production of N95 surgical masks. | Mario Bartel, Tri-City News

A Coquitlam manufacturing company is getting up to $584,000 from the provincial government to boost its production of N95 masks.

Novo Textiles said it will use the money from the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund to acquire and install new, automated specialized equipment for a dedicated N95 mask production line.

The project is expected to create 13 new jobs.

Jason Zanatta, Novo’s CEO and president, said in a news release, "Canadian healthcare and frontline workers can be assured that they will be protected with quality, world-class Novoshield N95s made right here in B.C."

Zanatta said his company answered a "call to arms" from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and mobilized its expertise in manufacturing pillows, insert cushions and dog beds to creating personal protective equipment (IPPE).

Within weeks, the facility in the Fraser Mills business centre was producing 100,000 surgical masks a day and it hasn’t looked back.

Brenda Bailey, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, said the $180-million jobs fund promotes the creation of "quality, sustainable jobs people need to build good lives."

Since it was created in June 2023, the fund has committed as much as $36 million to 25 capital projects and 13 planning projects for manufacturers around the province.