Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) welcomes the $100 billion federal stimulus package aimed at creating one million jobs over the next three years.
Outlined in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Fall Economic Statement, the plan is receiving good marks from the industrial sector for recognizing the important role played by manufacturers in creating much needed middle class jobs.
“Manufacturers are part of the solution, and we believe that we are well-positioned to work with government in helping to create those good, middle class jobs that Minister Freeland emphasized in her statement,” says CME president and CEO Dennis Darby.
CME noted the increase to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy from 65 per cent to 75 per cent while extending the program until March 13, 2021. The group also applauded support for existing workers with the increase in lockdown rent relief.
Manufacturers stepped up at the beginning of the crisis to produce necessary goods, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and is uniquely positioned to help the country build itself out of the current economic situation.
“The global coronavirus pandemic has shown Canadians how important it is to have manufactured goods in Canada,” said Darby, who added that the focus on women is also welcomed.
Aerospace under siege
Aéro Montréal, Quebec’s aerospace cluster and think tank, lauds the announced $1 billion investment over two years to assist regional air transportation and airports, but said the government should have engaged the industrial supply chain more thoroughly during the planning process, considering the economic upheaval currently slamming the global aerospace sector.
“While more than 4,000 jobs have already been lost in the Québec aerospace industry since the beginning of the pandemic, we are very concerned about the erosion of our ecosystem and the exodus of our qualified workforce,” said Suzanne M. Benoît, president of Aéro Montréal. Every day counts, we need the federal government as a strategic partner to ensure the survival of this sector, which is vital to Canada.”
In 2019, Quebec’s aerospace industry ranked first in terms of Quebec exports, accounting for 12 per cent of Quebec’s total manufacturing exports. It’s not just about airports and air carriers, with close to 250 companies in the sector accounting for 43,400 workers and sales totalling $17.8 billion.