CME releases new study on innovation in Atlantic Canada’s manufacturing sector

Provides 15 key solutions to encourage technology adoption

HALIFAX (July 24, 2019) – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) released today “Unlocking Atlantic Canada’s Growth Potential.”

The report, based on manufacturers’ input, provide four broad but interconnected issues that are limiting innovation and technology adoption in Atlantic Canadian manufacturing – skill and labour shortages, high purchase costs and uncertain return on investments, lack of information about new technologies and uncompetitive business climate.

“The top issue manufacturers have in adopting new technology is finding the right people to operate it. 48 per cent of Atlantic manufacturers say they face immediate labour shortages and 28 per cent say it is their main barrier to innovation. said Mike Holden, CME Chief Economist.

“There is just not enough students are graduating from post-secondary fields in Atlantic Canada.” added Holden, “For example, the number of students registered in a machinist apprentice drop by 42% in the Atlantic region while it only fell by 14% elsewhere in Canada. Governments can play a role in helping post-secondary institutions attract more student and, develop more relevant programs.”

CME’s report identifies key solutions to help address those obstacles and, in turn, improve productivity rates, businesses’ main driver for growth. CME will work with governments and businesses to implement them.


Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) advocates for and represents 2,500 leading manufacturers that operate across Canada. Manufacturing moves Canada and is the engine of the economy. Canadian manufacturers collectively employ 1.7 million Canadians and is responsible for two-thirds of Canada’s export sales. The sector is growing rapidly. In 2018, the sector reached a new all-time high of $685 billion in sales. CME advocates policies that will allow Canadian manufacturers to compete effectively in the global economy.


Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
C:  613-292-6070 | | @CME_MEC