We're here to report to you today that our supplies of the N95 face masks on many of our farms will be gone in two weeks. The N95 face masks are now selling for up to $10 per mask. These masks used to sell for well under $1. Committee members, that is 1,000% inflation.
The N95s are being confiscated at the border. India is no longer shipping, and the face masks from China are defective. If the N95s do not work for health care, they also do not work for the mushroom farms. We need them for worker safety purposes beyond COVID-19 for some varieties of mushrooms, to protect our workers from the spores.
We ask the Government of Canada to make agriculture its number two priority and please include us in the procurement process. All the PPE support for the farmers has been late. A few provincial programs are only now rolling out, three months into the pandemic. In Ontario, the new $2.25-million joint federal-provincial program for producers, called the agri-food workplace protection program, is capped at $7,500 per incorporated farm, so with the costs of the face masks inflated 1,000%, you can see that the funding is not going to go very far.