September 27, 2022

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Ford stops in region to promote local business, shop local campaign

Premier holds daily press conference at Napoleon Home Comfort where he discussed details around the new Ontario Made Consumer Directory

Premier Doug Ford was in Barrie today to promote a new way to find Ontario-made goods and to support local businesses.

The Ontario Made Consumer Directory will make it easier for shoppers to find products manufactured in the province, while supporting local businesses and the companies that make those goods. Launched by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), with the support of the Ontario government, the goal is to support jobs and long-term economic recovery both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking from Napoleon Home Comfort in Oro-Medonte, the announcement was made Thursday by Ford and Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli.

“By purchasing Ontario Made, we can put billions of dollars back into our economy and start our province down the road to recovery,” the premier said. “We launched the Ontario Made program months ago, but that was only the beginning.”

The second phase will see Ontario Made logos put on those items and will allow consumers to be able to differentiate from out-of-province goods.

“To date, there have been 4,600 products registered, from 1,200 Ontario manufacturers. That’s 4,600 quality-made products, made in our communities, supporting jobs locally and available for purchase from retailers across the province,” Ford said. 

At the start of the pandemic in March, Napoleon shut down its production to meet provincial regulations. Many of its employees continued working by assisting a local medical manufacturer to make personal protective equipment (PPE). When Napoleon was allowed to reopen, they did so with heightened COVID protocols. 

Napoleon co-CEO Chris Schroeter said the company has had an “unprecedented demand” for their products. 

“To keep up, we have hired over 200 new full-time associates since June alone,” he added. 

Funding for Ontario Made came from the $50-million Ontario Together Fund.

Since its launch, the SupportOntarioMade.ca website has received more than 25,000 visits and more than 3,800 subscriptions to the Ontario Made newsletter.

In a recent CME survey, 73 per cent of Ontario residents said they already try to purchase Canadian-made products and 56 per cent said they would try more often to buy domestic goods. 

During his visit, Ford also touched on the local COVID situation. There were five new cases in Barrie today, while the provincial numbers reached 934.

Ford said he believes Barrie is doing well and praised the people living here for doing their part during the pandemic to keep numbers down.

“I give a lot of credit to the mayor (Jeff Lehman) for his leadership, my local MPPs for their leadership, but most of all, and I’m sure they’ll agree that it’s the people,” Ford said. “The people here and the Barrie and Innisfil region are following protocols, practising social distancing, wearing face masks and they’re doing great.”

Ford continued by saying “things are booming here in Barrie and Innisfil,” adding he considers the region to be a great place to live.

“It’s a beautiful place to move; right by the lake is gorgeous. Great companies, great people. If you’re ever planning to move and want to get out of the city, I’d take a look at Innisfil and Barrie,” he said.