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“Tools but no toolbox”: BC manufacturers look for manufacturing strategy

April 21, 2021   Maryam Farag

According to CME, over the course of the pandemic, the province has looked to the manufacturing sector, not only as a driver of the economy, but also to pivot and expand to address the gaps in the supply chain that COVID-19 has exposed. “The resiliency and flexibility of the industry has been key to our response to the pandemic, both economically and in supporting our health care system.”

“We are glad the provincial government continues to take measures that will help our manufacturing sector to drive our economy,” said Andrew Wynn-Williams, Divisional Vice-President, BC of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). “But we would like them to move more quickly in the development of a proper strategy to hold it all together.”

CME was “pleased to see measures to address some of the sectors key concerns with respect to industrial investment and the ongoing skills shortage.” On the capital investment front, these include the ongoing business recovery grant program, the PST exemption on machinery and equipment, and the $500 million InBC Strategic Investment Fund. CME also supports “the various increases to different training programs. However, the government needs to tie these and other elements together with a comprehensive manufacturing strategy to drive technology investment and scale-up and commercialization.”

“This pandemic has shown us how critical a strong manufacturing sector is to British Columbia,” said Wynn-Williams. “We need to ensure that these short-term recovery support programs are expanded into a full strategy that will support the growth of the sector in the long term.”

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