Mary tallClick image to enlargeAnyone looking for specific support for manufacturing in the 2017 Federal Government’s Budget will be disappointed.

Indeed, there is little mention of manufacturing. In fact, as part of the measures outlined under the "Innovation and Skills Plan," the budget identifies "key growth industries" being clean technology, digital and agri-food.

The somewhat lackluster budget is more of a "read-between-the-lines" type budget in which you have to dig deep to discover what opportunities and support, if any, are being offered to help spur and sustain economic growth for Canada’s manufacturing industry. Some of the initiatives do present opportunities for manufacturers.

For instance, as part of the Federal Government’s initiatives for infrastructure, it plans to invest $10.1 billion over 10 years to "modernize Canada’s transportation system." This may mean investments in new rails and railcars, trains, subways, road and bridge infrastructures, all of which have metal components and ancillary products that will have to be manufactured and assembled. Of course, the more skeptical budget reader will note that $10.1 billion over 11 years doesn’t amount to much, particularly when the government doesn’t even have an 11-year mandate to implement such a plan.

The budget also outlines an $11.2 billion-plus investment in a national housing strategy to “build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing.” Once again, there may be opportunities for manufacturers to secure contracts to produce products related to housing construction, such as metal HVAC-related products and piping.

The government’s focus on clean technology is yet another area that presents opportunities for manufacturers to support companies involved in producing clean tech products. The budget outlines a potential investment of more than $2.2 billon to support clean technology research and development, as well as to accelerate the growth of clean technology companies. Many companies involved in the cleantech industry are not necessarily manufacturers, but idea generators who will be looking to have someone make their products.

Manufacturing is cited in the Federal Budget’s “Skills and Innovation Plan.” The government plans to invest up to $950 million over five years to support “superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth.” And it cites “highly innovative industries” such as advanced manufacturing as one example.

How the government defines advanced manufacturing remains to be seen, but will likely include companies who are investing in automation, robotics and other digital manufacturing tools, or working in collaborative R&D partnerships with third party technology suppliers to pursue and implement leading edge technologies, initiatives that many manufacturers have already undertaken. SMT


Similar Articles

Cutting Tool Tips: When to Use Coolants

Coolant can be an effective way to cool a cutting tool, help expel the chip and prevent built up edge.

Shop View: Can smart technology be stupid?

Wednesday, October 12 is a day that will stay with me for many years.

Why? It was the day Shop Metalworking Technology's web site was set to go live.

Shop View: China and India: Friend or foe for Canadian manufacturing?

Much has been written about how North American manufacturing has flowed to the Far East, followed closely behind by service sectors, such as IT and graphic design.

Shop View: Robotics, yes; robotic thinking, no

Far too often, Canadian industry tends to take a wait and see approach instead of delving first into new technologies.

Reshoring: Home for the holidays or home for good?

By Mary Scianna

There’s a saying that it takes a village to raise a child.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn