The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many surprises with it, most of them rather nasty. But the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA) shared a pleasant one during its Annual General Meeting in London last night.

CTMA logo on whiteClick image to enlarge

 The CTMA anticipated a 25% drop in membership due to the pandemic but found that not only did its existing members continue to support the association but its membership actually grew, resulting in a 23% increase in membership income over what was budgeted, according to Ryan Wozniak, CTMA secretary/treasurer.

“This past year has brought continued pandemic protocols, a micro-chip shortage, steel supply shortage, increased shipping costs due to a shipping container shortage, and these are just a few issues that come to mind,” executive director Robert Cattle told members attending the event at London’s Lamplighter Inn conference complex. “Through all this I am constantly amazed at the resilience of our member companies and their resolve to always move forward.”

The event, which included CTMA’s Apprentice Awards and a keynote from NHL great Paul Coffey, attracted about 130 in person with more tuning in online.

Cattle said border issues during the past year consumed more of CTMA’s time than any other issue.

“We received so many emails, text messages and phone calls about how adversely the border issues were affecting our members. Together with CAMM, Automate Canada and the Niagara Industrial Association, we developed surveys to obtain much-needed data to demonstrate to the government how these stringent measures were hurting our industry. And don’t even get me started on what the definition of essential worker is,” Cattle said.

He added that the association set up weekly Zoom meetings to focus its efforts and also set up virtual meetings with MP, MPPs, Public Health Agency of Canada officials and Canada Border Services Agency officials.

“At no time did the CTMA advocate for an open border during these difficult times, just a much more directed approach so that our members had a set of rules that would help them get their ‘essential workers’ back and forth to their US-based customers and vice versa. All the gathered information was shared with our members and I know these services were used extensively,” Cattle said. “I like to think that our combined efforts were a contributing factor to the relaxing of the rules.”

CTMA was established in 1963 by uniting various trade associations into one organization representing Canada’s tooling industry. The association has chapters in Windsor, Toronto and Western Ontario.

For more information, go to: CTMA

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