China says faulty masks a ‘contractual’ matter that has been fixed

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OTTAWA — The Chinese embassy in Ottawa says a “contractual” issue was behind the one million Chinese-made face masks Canada rejected last month.

The masks did not meet the filtering standards for N95 respirator masks in Canada, which are thus named because they are supposed to filter out 95 per cent of small particles.

In a tweet this morning, the embassy says it found out from Global Affairs Canada the issue was a contract problem and that the matter has now been resolved.

But Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Health Minister Patty Hajdu both appeared puzzled at this comment during their daily briefing to Canadians this afternoon.

Hajdu said she would look into it but her office has yet to respond to a question about it.

Canada is heavily reliant on China for securing enough personal protective equipment for health-care workers in the COVID-19 pandemic but Health Canada inspectors are looking at all imports to ensure they meet Canadian standards.

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