Federal budget “missed an opportunity” to help manufacturing sector, association says
The new budget fails to offer a comprehensive, targeted manufacturing strategy, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
The 2021 federal budget drew a mixed reaction from the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) association.
“CME commends the federal government for recognizing the importance of the manufacturing sector and addressing many challenges faced by Canadian manufacturers in [this] budget,” officials with the Ottawa-based group said in an April 19 news release. “Recapitalizing investment supports like the Strategic Innovation Fund, enhancing accelerated capital write-offs, extending the wage subsidy, helping companies transition to net-zero, investing in skills training and childcare, are all very positive initiatives that will help industry recover from the pandemic.”
But CME also said the government “missed an opportunity” to address fundamental issues plaguing the long-term health and growth of the manufacturing sector. “Longstanding requests from CME to significantly drive technology investment and scale-up and commercialization through a comprehensive, targeted manufacturing strategy are largely missing,” the news release said.
“As we inch closer to the end of the worst parts of the pandemic, governments around the world are investing massively in the manufacturing sector,” said CME president and CEO Dennis Darby. “A lot of the measures announced… are positive and will help, but there is not enough in there to move the needle and drive long-term growth.”
In particular, CME said the “lack of a comprehensive manufacturing strategy as recommended by the Government’s own Industry Strategy Council in [the] budget is placing our sector in a difficult situation.”
The budget unveiled $101.4 billion in new spending, with a projected deficit of $354.2 billion for 2020 and dropping to $154.7 billion in the current 2021-22 fiscal year. The focus of the budget was on pandemic recovery and resiliency with spending in three key areas: raising the federal minimum wage, $30 billion towards a national childcare plan, and $17.6 billion towards cleantech investments. It also includes a 50 per cent 10-year reduction on corporate and small business income tax rates for companies manufacturing zero-emissions technologies, such as solar panels and electric buses.
To read the 2021 federal budget, click on this link.