Canada risks being shut out of future advanced manufacturing mandates if it doesn't act now to resolve pressing manufacturing challenges, says CME. PHOTO courtesy OptiMAX.
Manufacturing is “grappling with some of the hardest challenges it has ever faced” and action is needed now, says Dennis Darby, President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), in calling for the federal government to address manufacturers’ top concerns in Budget 2023.
In an appearance before the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Finance, Darby outlined the challenges threatening Canadian manufacturers: Chronic labour shortages, ongoing supply chain disruptions, massive looming transitional investments to get to net-zero, and trade uncertainty.
“Our members tell us, and our research confirms it, that if we do not act now to resolve these challenges, Canada risks being shut out of future advanced manufacturing mandates,” Darby says.
To overcome these challenges, Darby outlined CME’s five-point plan for the upcoming fiscal update and federal budget:
- Step 1: Implement a national industrial strategy for Canada
- Step 2: Reduce labour shortages
- Step 3: Fix supply chain disruptions
- Step 4: Grow business investment and exports
- Step 5: Help manufacturers transition to a net-zero future
CME encouraged the government to work with industry on all these fronts and to ensure that the upcoming budget outlines a clear plan to help manufacturers tackle these challenges. As other countries take action to revive their domestic manufacturing industries, Canada must commit to strengthening and protecting its own manufacturing industry, or risk of being left behind.
Specifically, CME is asking the government to narrow the incentive gaps offered in the US’ Inflation Reduction Act, in addition to expanding business investment incentive programs like the Net Zero Accelerator Fund, and the Accelerated Investment Incentive. Addressing labour shortages through more ambitious immigration targets and providing money for employer led training is also critical to helping manufacturers grow. For supply chains, the government must increase and speed up investments in critical transportation and trade infrastructure.
“Our industry wants to partner with the federal government to ensure that Canadian manufacturing continues to thrive for years to come. Other countries, especially the US, have recently stepped up their support for their domestic manufacturing sectors. If we do not follow suit, we risk losing investment and jobs.” Darby says. “As everyone around the world is pouring money into greening and growing their manufacturing sectors, Canada must do the same, and the upcoming Budget is the time to do it,” concludes Darby.