CALGARY-The oil sands aren’t to blame for Canada’s struggling manufacturing sector, said Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters at the National Supply Chain Forum in Calgary earlier this week.
He was responding to a new report by the Pembina Institute and Équiterre, called “Booms, Busts and Bitumen,” which pointed to the oil sands’ role in boosting the strength of the Canadian dollar.
“I’ve got news for you. The Canadian dollar would be high without the oil sands,” Myers said. “We do not have a petro currency. We have a high currency because of the weakness of the US dollar.”
He said manufacturers across the country are struggling because of the high Canadian dollar, but if anything, the oil sands have been a lifeline.
“The oil sands has provided an alternative and very important centre of customer demand for manufacturers in this country. It’s driven a tremendous amount of new process and product innovation and generated new cash flow, services, partnerships and skills. That’s all good for manufacturing and it’s hard to quantify.”