Ottawa, August 28, 2021 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) unveiled its platform for the 2021 federal election today, which outlines a national strategy to restore Canada’s manufacturing sector’s leading position. After a year and a half of the pandemic, this 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.

Canadian Manufacturing Sector Lags Behind

COVID-19 has heavily impacted the manufacturing sector and has forced companies to quickly reinvent themselves to help fight the pandemic. However, the COVID-19 crisis does not explain all of the difficulties experienced by manufacturers.

The sector has been lagging for several years: with a slow decline in investment since the early 2000s and little growth in exports, the erosion of Canada’s industrial competitiveness has had a direct impact on manufacturers’ ability to respond to and recover from the crisis. Yet, 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 get back on their feet quickly.

A Concrete Plan in Four Pillars for the Sector

As the crisis begins to recede, we must decide now what vision for the economy and our sector will prevail in the years ahead. That’s why Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters is presenting its demands to ensure a solid growth for the industry. This strategy will need to be founded on four pillars, with the importance of reducing the overall administrative burden on businesses in this country at its core:

  • Get the workers that manufacturers and exporters need;
  • Stimulate investment in innovation and advanced technologies;
  • Increase Canadian exports; and
  • Adopt an industrial net zero strategy.

Canadian manufacturers are ready to meet the challenges ahead and to reclaim their rightful place on the world stage. However, they need the federal government to be a true partner.


« 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.

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. » – Dennis Darby, President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)

About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)

From the first industrial boom in Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has been advocating for and representing member interests. Nearly 150 years strong, we have earned an extensive and effective track record of working for and with 2,500 leading manufacturers from coast to coast to help their businesses grow. Our success comes from integrating the association with industry, being run by manufacturers for manufacturers.
Led by a national board of directors made up of senior leaders from a diverse group of Canadian manufacturers of all sizes, we have our finger on the pulse of the sector. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters supports manufacturers in their workforce, innovation and export issues, and represents its members to the provincial and federal governments to foster a business environment that enables them to compete locally and internationally.


Jeremy Ghio