China has once again landed itself into trouble over the quality of its COVID-19 protection gears. The latest to be unimpressed by the quality delivered is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has said that his government will not be paying for the eight million substandard medical grade masks that were sourced from the country.
The N95 masks were part of a consignment of 11 million, of which only one million were found to meet Canadian standards while another 1.6 million are still undergoing testing.
During a media briefing, Trudeau made it clear that Canada would not be paying for the substandard personal protective equipment, adding that the level of quality makes it unfit for front-line workers. “Will not be paying for masks that do not match the standards and quality we want for our front-line workers," he said.
This new development has further hampered diplomatic ties between the two countries, which were tested in 2018 when a senior executive of the Chinese company Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was taken into custody by authorities in Vancouver and the mainland had retaliated by arresting two Canadians including a diplomat.
“We will not be burdened with masks that do not fit our stringent requirements,” he said.
This is not the first time Canada has faced problems with the quality of masks from China; last month, a million such masks imported from China were found to be faulty.
Early last month, the country’s largest city, Toronto, returned nearly 62,000 masks, to a Chinese vendor. At that time, the Mayor’s office noted in a statement, “After reports of ripping and tearing, further inspection of the masks determined that the masks ordered did not meet the city’s standard and specifications. The masks are being returned, and the vendor has committed to a full refund.”