Toronto, April 28, 2022
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) welcomes the commitment in Ontario’s 2022 Budget to work side by side with the manufacturing sector to create an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy. CME is also pleased to see commitments in new investments in labour, infrastructure, and innovation.
CME’s Long-awaited Call Answered: The Creation of a Manufacturing Strategy
“Manufacturers have been calling for an integrated strategy for a long time. The province’s commitment to create an advanced manufacturing strategy is critical for Ontario’s prosperity and growth for the next generation. CME looks forward to working with the province and our members on the development of this strategy to get manufacturers the workers we need, lower the cost of doing business, and support business scale-up and investment,” said Dennis Darby, President and CEO of CME.
CME is also happy to see the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Council to help inform the strategy. CME’s members are ready and willing to bring their voices to the table to help provide input on the development of a strategy that directly impacts their everyday life.
Skills and Labour Shortages: Getting Manufacturers the Workers We Need
The top concern for manufacturers remains the availability of skilled workers. CME welcomes the renewed commitment of $114.4M to the Skilled Trades Strategy and $6.9M to enhance the Investing in Women’s Future Program.
CME also supports the $15.1M investment to grow the Ontario Nominee program and make it more responsive to the needs of Ontario employers.
“At the end of 2021, Ontario manufacturers had nearly 31,000 job vacancies, an indication of how acute skills and labour shortages are for our sector. While these measures are welcome, a comprehensive labour force strategy needs to be created to fill the labour shortages of today and train the workers of tomorrow,” adds Darby.
Infrastructure: Supporting Movement of Goods and Local Supply Chains
Ontario is also investing in the infrastructure our province needs and the local supply chains supporting them. We welcome the $21.5 billion investment in highways upgrades and the essential transit purchase and refurbishment contracts that will support well-paying manufacturing jobs in Northern Ontario.
“The reliable and efficient movement of goods and people is critical to the manufacturing sector. CME has long called for the province to protect infrastructure and is pleased to see a commitment of $96M over three years to protect critical infrastructure against unlawful disruptions such as blockades,” says Darby.
Investment Supports: Innovation is Key to Bolstering Ontario’s Competitiveness
CME was pleased to see several measures designed to improve Ontario’s investment and innovation performance, including the new life sciences and low-carbon hydrogen strategies, and the $107M investment over three years to support access to and commercialization of new critical technologies initiatives.
Also noteworthy is a commitment of $91M in EV charging infrastructure, the establishment of a critical minerals strategy, and linking the Ring of Fire to the rest of the province to unite the province in developing the future of our automotive sector.
“CME will continue to work with the provincial government on our shared goal to stimulate innovation and long-term economic growth for Ontario’s manufacturing sector to support prosperity for all Ontarians. Although Budget 2022 is a step in the right direction, our work is not over to remove barriers to enable Ontario’s manufacturing sector to grow and thrive, not just today, but for years to come,” concluded Darby.
- Ontario’s manufacturing sector employs close to 775,000 Ontarians
- The sector’s 36,200 manufacturing firms also directly generate over 12 per cent of the province’s GDP and over three-quarters of its merchandise exports
- Taking direct and indirect impacts into account, the sector’s footprint amounts to more than 30 per cent of Ontario’s economic activity