Manufacturers and suppliers are essential businesses: CME calls for clarity and further government support

TORONTO (March 23, 2020) – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters accepts the necessity of the 14-days non-essential business shut-down announced today by the government of Ontario but is deeply concerned about the impact this decision will have on manufacturers, their employees, and the essential goods supply chains. Additional support measures will be necessary for businesses to make it through this difficult time.

“Canadian businesses are facing dark days ahead and the manufacturing sector will not escape unscathed”, said Dennis Darby, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. “While this decision is necessary from a public health standpoint, it must be balanced by immediate support for industry. More must be done and soon.”

The measures announced so far by the government were good first steps but will non-longer suffice to sustain almost all Ontario businesses throughout this crisis. Direct financial grants, partial wage subsidies, deferrals of all government taxes and fees are critical for the continuity and survival of businesses and their employees, regardless of size.

“Additionally, manufacturers need immediate clarification on the definition of essential business,” added Darby. “Manufacturing is clearly an essential business, but we cannot continue our operations without key inputs. It’s an ecosystem with complex supply chains. General goods, grocery, pharmacy and medical device manufacturers and distributors are concerned they will not be able to access the inputs and materials essential to support Canadians at home, and those on the front lines who need products for themselves and their organizations to fight COVID-19 effectively.”


Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.


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