The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) recently released a very forward-thinking report on the need to rethink how manufacturing is viewed and the industry developed. The report comes to the conclusion that “Canada’s opportunity lies in capitalizing on the distinction between the traditional perspective of manufacturing output - making widgets – and the high value inputs to the manufacturing process, such as product design, engineering,
testing and product development.”
Manufacturing is “still Canada’s wealth creation powerhouse, adding more value and more dollars to the economy than any other sector and is number two in job creation.” However, the report also notes that Canada’s ability to compete internationally as a top manufacturing destination has deteriorated. The report goes on to identify Canada’s challenges as “a fluctuating currency, high wages, skills shortages and soaring electricity costs in Ontario.”
That said, Peterborough is in a very unique position as many of the sectors discussed in the report have connections to our manufacturers from food processing to automotive to aerospace to clean-tech. In Canada, the top three manufacturing sectors by sales in 2014 were transportation and equipment at $112.6 billion, food processing at $107.1 billion and petroleum and coal products at $831 billion. Aerospace and automotive have high multipliers, creating 1:1 and 3:1 indirect jobs respectively (CCC Report 2016).
The CCC report is designed to examine the specific drivers behind investment attraction and the changes to global supply chain. Ontario stands out as a leader for foreign direct investment in Canada. How do we capitalize on this and continue to see growth in this area for manufacturing? The CCC report encourages dialogue around
defining the modern policies and incentives needed to support Canada “regaining its competitive standing on the world stage.”
The report is divided into four sections:
The report wraps up with seven recommendations to government:
There is a role to play for both government and industry, and the most effective solution can be reached with both working in harmony. The CCC found that Canada has the opportunity to win in the manufacturing space if Canadian companies invest in new technology and lead in innovation and R&D.
Read the full report