Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on all parties in the 2021 federal election to commit to a goal of attracting $50 billion in investment annually for the next 10 years.
This is a key piece of the organization’s national strategy that is intended to restore Canada’s manufacturing sector’s leading position. The plan, which is based on four pillars – workforce, innovation, exports, and a net zero strategy – is a necessity to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency and to remain competitive, CME said in a release.
“For many years, we have been calling for a national industrial strategy and believe that the time has come, after the period we have just experienced, to choose what kind of economy we want for our country in the coming decades,” said Dennis Darby, president and CEO CME.
“The manufacturing sector is critical to Canada. An industrial strategy must include specific and precise measures for our sector to invest in our manufacturing capacity. The time has come for the government to make a long-term commitment and finally support the recommendations of the industry.”
Canadian manufacturers represent more than 91,000 businesses, 1.7 million employees, they generate more than $690 billion in annual sales, and are asking for government help to recover not only from the Covid-19 pandemic, but also from a decline in investment since the early 2000s and little growth in exports.
In its election position paper, the CME said: “Reigniting Canada’s manufacturing sector—a critical engine of the economy—is essential if Canada is to build a more competitive, greener, innovative, inclusive, and resilient economy. If there is over $2.5 trillion invested in the manufacturing sector annually in the OECD, then Canada must capture more of this share of global investment dollars. Canada’s goal should be to attract at least two percent of the annual manufacturing investment into the OECD, or $50 billion annually in Canada’s manufacturing sector over the next decade.”
To that end, the organization calls on “all federal parties to commit to a two percent challenge, work with manufacturers to implement an effective and comprehensive industrial strategy for Canada that focuses on the following key priorities:
Get the workers we need;
Stimulate investment in innovation and advanced technologies;
Increase Canadian exports; and
Adopt a net-zero strategy.
CME represents 2,500 manufacturers across the country.