Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian manufacturers call for swift and sustained action at National Supply Chain Summit

In December, 88 per cent of manufacturers said suppliers' delivery times were slower than the year before.

February 1, 2022   by CM Staff

OTTAWA — Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters called on the federal government to immediately speed up immigration to address severe labour shortages, and detailed short and long-term solutions to ease supply chain bottlenecks, including striking 60-day sector specific task forces to deal with the most pressing issues.

For the longer term, CME urged the government to accelerate investments in critical trade infrastructure, to aggressively increase economic class immigration targets, and to work closely with the U.S. to remove protectionist policies that hurt integrated manufacturing supply chains.

CME made its recommendations at the National Supply Chain Summit, which was convened by the federal government to address the supply chain crisis and consider actions to address issues that are barriers to the country’s economic recovery.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra led the four-hour session that was also attended by International Trade Minister Mary Ng, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

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Dennis Darby, CME President and CEO, was joined by more than 30 other representatives from industry including manufacturing, agriculture, and business.

“Manufacturers have been feeling supply chain pressures for months now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Darby. “Omicron, natural disasters in B.C., and the trucker vaccine mandate, have all added to the crisis. We applaud the government for sitting down with industry to hammer out fixes to these problems.”

At the summit, CME urged the government to continue working with industry by setting up dedicated working groups that would deal with these challenges, identify specific problems, and come up with solutions. Later, the government announced that it would indeed convene a task force and further meetings to arrive at solutions.

Among the demands, Darby also asked the government to immediately develop task forces to identify supply chain problems and implement their recommendations. Darby also asked to avoid all transportation bottlenecks and policies that will stand in the way of their regular course of business. Finally, Darby asked that they speed up the immigration process to fill job vacancies in manufacturing and provide support to manufacturers left struggling.

In CME’s most recent Business Outlook Survey of the sector published in December, 88 per cent of manufacturers said suppliers’ delivery times were slower than the year before; 77 per cent claimed that attracting and retaining a quality workforce was their greatest challenge, and 47 per cent of them said supply chain disruptions were their biggest barrier.