CME’s election ‘Asks’: lower cost of doing business, increase exports
- August 25, 2021
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has released its 2021 electoral platform, detailing what it believes Canada’s manufacturing sector needs from the nation’s political leaders.
The 26-page platform document, titled “Manufacturing Now,” begins with a statement from CME president and CEO Dennis Darby. “We believe, wholeheartedly, that all parties should commit to implementing a new manufacturing strategy for Canada,” Darby says. “A strategy that promotes investments in our industrial future and enables manufacturing to grow and thrive for years to come. This election platform is our blueprint to get there. It is our time.”
At a time when the economy is starting to rebound from the ravages of COVID-19, Canada’s manufacturing sector is instead “dropping investment, output and jobs,” the CME says. The continuing pandemic isn’t the only reason. The CME cites the persistent decline in manufacturing investment that began in the early 2000s, the lack of a comprehensive federal manufacturing strategy, and a dramatic increase in the of doing business in Canada, among other factors, as contributing to the erosion of Canada’s industrial competitiveness.
CME challenges the federal parties to commit to a “2 percent challenge,’ committing to capture at least 2 percent of the more than $2.5 trillion – that’s $50 billion – that is invested annually in the manufacturing sectors of the OECD countries.
CME also calls for an “effective and comprehensive industrial strategy for Canada” that focuses on the following priority areas, each with a series of specific “Asks”:
- Get the workers we need Asks include: increase targets for economic class immigrants by half a million a year; increase the Canada Jobs Grant to $1 billion a year; more funding for inclusion programs for underrepresented groups, especially women and Indigenous Canadians
- Stimulate investment in innovation and advanced technologies Asks include: return the SR&ED investment tax credit basic rate to 20 percent; a direct investment tax credit of 10 percent for all new capital equipment purchases for all sizes of companies
- Increase Canadian exports Asks include: lower the cost of doing business by reducing the regulatory burden, reduce payroll taxes and address inter-provincial trade barriers
- Adopt a net-zero strategy Asks include: an effective, targeted SME transition strategy with a focus on global supply chain competitiveness; a $100 million/year small business grants program similar to SIF that supports net zero and de-risking technologies for small manufacturers.