Millions at Stake: CME Is Asking for a Plan to Reopen Borders

OTTAWA, JUNE 7, 2021 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on the federal government to present a plan to reopen the borders gradually. The lack of predictability is costing the Canadian economy millions of dollars in revenues and endangers thousands of jobs across the country. During the pandemic, Canadian manufacturers worked tirelessly to keep their workers safe while providing Canadians with all the essential goods they need, including personal protective equipment and food.

We have an opportunity to rebuild and restart the Canadian manufacturing sector, and we must seize it. To do so, CME is urging the government to present a clear plan to methodically reopen the borders as recommended by its own COVID-19 expert advisory panel. In May, Health Canada proposed a path forward for local activities, now it is time to have a clear guideline for when border restrictions will be progressively lifted.

CME members have supported the measures put in place at Canada’s borders to restrict unessential international travel. At the same time, they have consistently stated the need to have federal government exemptions for essential business travel upheld at Canada’s borders. While the government agreed to do this, the manufacturing sector has nevertheless continued to run into major challenges at the Canada-US border.

“The Canadian manufacturing sector represents over 10% of Canada’s total GDP, over 90,000 businesses, and 1.7 million direct jobs. Having clarity will only help Canadian manufacturers. Having clear directives will help them to plan and to bounce back from this pandemic” said Dennis Darby, President and CEO of CME.

He also added “manufacturers have the capacity to put the Canadian economy back on track and give Canadians back their jobs”.

With the continued uneven and inconsistent application of the rules and the direct impact on the movement of essential staff, manufacturers are being forced to delay or postpone necessary investments. These investments require the movement of people to support capital installations, research and development, product launches, and a variety of similar activities. What they need now is a clear plan to coordinate the gradual reopening of Canada’s international borders.

About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

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.

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Jeremy Ghio