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What We Heard: Securing the Future of Advanced Manufacturing Event

What We Heard: Securing the Future of Advanced Manufacturing Event

The event provided a platform to explore critical topics such as productivity, sustainability and global competitiveness, shedding light on strategies to enhance Canada's manufacturing landscape.

On April 30, 2024, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s “Securing the Future of Advanced Manufacturing” event convened key government and corporate leaders in Ottawa to discuss pivotal issues shaping Canada’s manufacturing sector.

The event provided a platform to explore critical topics such as productivity, sustainability and global competitiveness, shedding light on strategies to enhance Canada’s manufacturing landscape.

Keynote Address and Fireside Chat with the Hon. Lisa Raitt

To kick off the event, the Hon. Lisa Raitt shared her insights on the significant shift in the concerns of Canada’s younger generation towards prosperity in recent years. This shift underscores the need for increased investment in research and development (R&D) to enhance productivity, drive economic growth and secure Canada’s future competitiveness. Raitt also discussed the Coalition for a Better Future, emphasizing its role in addressing the productivity crisis and advocating for policies that support productivity growth. Her insights underscored the importance of proactive planning and investment in the economy to ensure a prosperous future for Canada’s manufacturing sector.

Panel Discussion: Navigating Disruptions – Building Manufacturing and Value Chains Resilience Strategies for the Future

The first panel, featuring James White from Wellmaster, Andrew Stewart from Lafarge, Terry Bowman from 3M Canada and Cynthia Shanks from Keurig Dr. Pepper, focused on strategies to minimize disruptions and enhance resilience in supply chains. They discussed key strategies such as regulatory reform, technology adoption, strategic partnerships and diversification to build robust and agile manufacturing processes. These insights shed light on the importance of adapting to global challenges while maintaining a competitive edge in the manufacturing sector.

Keynote Address by Trade Commissioner Sara Wilshaw

Sara Wilshaw, Chief Trade Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Minister at Global Affairs Canada, delivered a session on international trade and economic growth. She highlighted the importance of partnerships and discussed potential new markets for Canadian businesses. Wilshaw elaborated on key trade agreements such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and Canada’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. Additionally, she provided insights into government programs and services aimed at supporting economic growth and expanding market access for Canadian businesses.

Panel Discussion: Achieving Global Competitiveness for Advanced Manufacturing through Innovation and International Cooperation

Panel 2 highlighted advanced manufacturing’s critical role in driving Canada’s economic growth and global competitiveness. The discussion focused on the decline in business investment and R&D, calling for urgent regulatory reform to fortify economic security. Featuring Laura Devoni from Algoma Steel, Jeff Small from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc., Marie-Christine Caron from GE Aerospace, and James Scongack from Bruce Power, the panel stressed the importance of domestic supply chains in mitigating global disruptions. They advocated for improved internal trade to enhance resilience and streamlined regulations to facilitate the ease of doing business. The panel also stressed the need for a risk-informed approach at the government level and greater information sharing across departments to address regulatory challenges.

Keynote Address by the Hon. Mary Ng:

Minister Ng focussed her remarks on the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship, including ongoing efforts to strengthen economic ties and collaboration between Canada and the United States, noting the Canadian Chamber’s important role in these efforts. The discussion ranged from recent Team Canada missions in the Indo-Pacific region, to the Canada-U.S. engagement plan, and thoughts on the approaching review of CUSMA in 2026.  

The “Securing the Future of Advanced Manufacturing” event provided a unique platform to delve into key issues facing Canada’s manufacturing sector. The insights shared by speakers underscored the importance of innovation, collaboration and strategic policy-making in enhancing Canada’s manufacturing landscape and securing its global competitiveness.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently launched a new Manufacturing and Value Chains Committee that serves as a forum for representatives from the automotive, food, energy, petrochemical, plastics, aerospace, steel, oil and gas, and consumer packaged good sectors to provide a national perspective on related policy matters.

To express interest in joining the committee, contact Alex Greco, Senior Director, Manufacturing & Value Chains at agreco@chamber.ca.

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