Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Canada can build a world-class manufacturing sector, CME head says


May 18, 2012
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Canada has the opportunity to build a world-class manufacturing sector over the next 10 years, according to Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

 Speaking to a group of executives in Leduc, Alta., Myers said the instability in the markets over the past five years was a result of the property market’s collapse.

“At the end of the day, if all we are doing is shipping gas to China and the U.S. or oil to the U.S., then I think we have missed a tremendous opportunity to create something in Canada that will last and can be sustained,” he said, according to the Leduc Rep.

Myers also discussed the Greek debt situation and how it may impact Canadian manufacturers and global industry.

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“It’s already a bad situation in terms of the impact it’s having on debt and the availability of credit, which is where we really are sensitive to what is going on in Greece and in Europe.

“In order to get out of this situation, I think we need an international solution so we can diversify the cost around the world. We are not seeing that in Europe. We are seeing our countries fighting each other, about who is going to pay for getting out of this situation.”

He also discussed NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, who claimed the oil sands were negatively affecting the country’s manufacturing sector.

“That is not true,” Myers said. “I can tell you there are billions of jobs and billions of dollars and over 200,000 jobs in Ontario alone that depend directly on the future of economic development in this province. To be talking today about the impact of energy and a booming energy sector in Alberta as we constraint economic growth for the rest of the country is number one, not true and number two, just doesn’t make sense. Number three, if that is what the vision of the Eastern Canada politicians is, then heaven help us. That’s the future of the country, let’s take advantage of it and let’s grow that high value, technology, manufacturing and services sector.”

Myers did say that despite manufacturing’s downward trend since 2006, the sector has ben recovering slowly since 2009.

“In three months 30 per cent of customers for Canada’s manufacturing sector have disappeared. That is what has hurt manufacturers across the country and that is what we are trying to recover from,” explained Myers.