Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) want to see a comprehensive plan to address the major challenges facing manufacturers, the group said recently.
They recently called on Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to come up with a plan to address challenges such as supply chain disruptions, trade protectionism and severe labor shortages.
“The manufacturers’ problems are Canada’s problems. Without urgent attention to the triple threat of supply chain disruptions, ‘Buy American’ and the labor shortage crisis, the strength of Canada’s economic recovery is in doubt, ”he said. Dennis Darby, president and CEO of CME, said in a statement.
Half of the companies reported supply chain issues, while nearly two-thirds saw raw material costs increase as a result, according to a CME study of Canadian manufacturers. Flooding in British Columbia and transportation problems only made matters worse, the group noted.
At the top of the list of challenges is talent. The CME reported 65,000 vacant positions in the manufacturing sector.
“Our survey found that most manufacturers are struggling to fill general and assembly labor positions as well as skilled production positions (welders, machinists, operators, etc.),” noted Darby. . “These are good, well-paying jobs that go unfilled. We need the government to resolve the backlog of immigration applications and streamline the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by adopting a trusted employer system.
The “Buy American” mandate is also an important factor.
“On Buy American, we need to see strong government engagement in the Anti-Protectionism Update, to ensure Canada can maintain and develop its critical auto sector,” said Darby.