TORONTO—Our friend to the south is sick and it’s not getting better anytime soon, according to Kevin O’Leary of CBC’s Dragons Den
Don’t panic. He’s not talking about your beloved aunt snowbirding in Florida.
He’s referring to our largest trading partner, the U.S., and it’s imperiled economy.
O’Leary—the keynote speaker opening this year’s Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto—was addressing a crowd of about 200 and focused on Canada’s innovation issues and how businesses here must lessen dependence on the U.S. market.
The always brash O’Leary used his investment savvy and business tactics to illustrate the significant opportunities in growing markets like Brazil and China—markets he says Canada simply can’t afford miss out on.
He also spoke about automation and its effect on Canadian job numbers. Yes, he admitted that automation reduces job numbers, but it also adds value and increases salaries and quality of life for the Canadians that apply the technology properly.
And while Canadian manufacturing continues to represent the largest portion of our economy, there is still room for improvement.
“We need to stop apologizing for our successes,” O’Leary said in closing.
This year’s CMTS show features 150 new products and more than 10,000 people are expected to visit, according to Debbie Holton, director for North American events and industry strategy at the Society for Manufacturing Engineers.