CME releases statement in wake of federal budget, calls for more to address labour shortages
by CM Staff
The government's budget did not offer any substantial measures to address ongoing and acute labours shortage in manufacturing.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) association reports that they welcom initiatives announced in Budget 2022 to stimulate innovation and investment and to ensure more efficient and resilient supply chains. However, they mentioned that the labour market measures announced on Apr. 7 were not sufficient, given the magnitude of the labour shortage confronting Canada’s manufacturing sector.
“The manufacturing sector faces two major challenges today that are hindering its ability to produce and sell products: supply chain disruptions and labour shortages,” said Dennis Darby, President and CEO of CME. “Today’s budget offers important and helpful measures to stimulate innovation and implement and promote long term economic growth and ease supply chain issues, but it fails to address labour shortages. This is a miss.”
The budget was presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland.
“Overall, Canada lags well behind other OECD countries in non-residential business investment, and this is leading to a deterioration in our international competitiveness. To ensure Canada’s future prosperity, we need to reverse these trends. But to do this, Canada needs to have the right levers in place to stimulate investment, “adds Darby.
CME reports that the government’s plan to cut taxes on small businesses is a positive move. It will reportedly ease the current phase-out rules related to the small business tax rate, with access to the lower rate fully phased out when taxable capital reaches $50 million, rather than at $15 million.
Also noteworthy is the establishment of a Canada Growth Fund aimed at attracting private sector investment in new and traditional sectors, including manufacturing, as well as to support the restructuring of critical supply chains.
A 30 per cent tax credit for investments in clean technology and a refundable tax credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) will support manufacturers as they work to decarbonize their industrial processes as well.
Unfortunately, the government’s budget did not offer any substantial measures to address ongoing and acute labours shortage in manufacturing, even though the sector is currently facing a record-high 81,000 job vacancies.
CME welcomed the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program announced earlier this week, but more solutions were expected by the sector. While the budget recalls investments made to support the processing of immigration applications, processing times remain too long, according to industry groups.
“CME will continue to work with the federal government on our mutual goal of creating a more competitive, greener, innovative, inclusive, and resilient manufacturing sector. Budget 2022 is a step in the right direction, but more work still needs to be done,” concluded Darby.