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CME calls for commitment to a new strategy to revamp manufacturing sector in Canada


Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) recently introduced its platform for the 2021 federal election. Through its platform, CME has proposed a comprehensive strategy to drive further growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector.

In a statement released by the association, CME notes,” Our sector was deeply wounded by COVID-19. But this is not the only reason why we are having trouble bouncing back. In recent years, Canadian manufacturing output and exports have grown at a much slower pace than in other developed countries. This is largely due to a steady decline in manufacturing investment that began in the early 2000s and the lack of a comprehensive industrial strategy at the federal level. Many manufacturers also report that due to a number of factors, including red tape, the cost of doing business in Canada has increased dramatically.”

The pandemic forced the manufacturing sector to reinvent itself overnight to produce critical products, says CME. It is time to think about the type of country and economy Canada wants to build as it emerges from the crisis.

“This pandemic clearly demonstrated the importance of investing in our manufacturing capabilities now. CME’s goal in the upcoming federal election is to have all parties adopt a pro-jobs and pro-growth manufacturing strategy as part of their election platforms that will drive a manufacturing renaissance in Canada,” says CME.

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Canada’s goal should be to attract at least two percent of the annual manufacturing investment into the OECD, or $50 billion annually in Canada’s manufacturing sector over the next decade, says CME. Concrete objectives and targets need to be set to meet the goals. The association states that this strategic plan’s primary focus must be on overcoming barriers to investment and working in partnership with the government to drive change.

CME is therefore urging all federal parties to commit to a two percent challenge and collaborate with manufacturers to implement an effective and comprehensive industrial strategy for Canada.

Key priorities of such a strategy must be:

  1. Get the workers we need;
  2. Stimulate investment in innovation and advanced technologies;
  3. Increase Canadian exports; and
  4. Adopt a net-zero strategy.

Canada is lagging behind other industrialized countries in terms of digitization and the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, notes CME. Therefore, its asks to stimulate investment in innovation and advanced technologies include:

  1. Reforming the tax system to encourage greater business investment;
  2. Maximizing the impact of current industrial supports and allocating more help to SMEs.

Global shifts in supply chains have opened up opportunities for reshoring manufacturing. It is time for Canada’s manufacturing sector to take the next step to further growth. CME states that to do so, the segment needs the support and partnership of the federal government.

Read the full platform here.