Quebec Elections: Manufacturers Make their Proposals Heard
As the Quebec provincial elections approach, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters present its electoral platform, which includes 12 concrete proposals to ensure the competitiveness and growth of the manufacturing sector. It echoes the concerns of manufacturers currently facing three main challenges: labour shortages, innovation, supply chains, and inflation.
“No political party can achieve its economic vision without making the manufacturing sector a priority. The various parties must therefore propose concrete actions for manufacturing companies for the benefit of our entire economy. Indeed, manufacturing is the pillar of the Quebec economy as well as of regional economic development. It is also the most important economic sector in terms of its contribution to the GDP. Not to mention the fact that manufacturers have the potential to generate more wealth,” says Véronique Proulx, President and CEO of CME in Quebec.
With 31,000 vacant positions, the labour shortage directly affects production capacity and the momentum of the manufacturing sector. Quebec has left nearly $18 billion on the table over two years due to the manufacturing labour shortage. To increase the pool of workers, CME proposes to activate different levers to mitigate the impacts of the labour shortage. These include:
- Implementing a priority access route to permanent immigration for workers already employed to promote a better regionalization of immigration;
- Reduce processing times for temporary foreign workers and permanent immigration applications to be similar to those of other provinces;
- Increase immigration thresholds to 90,000 immigrants per year for three years);
- Put in place incentives to encourage the construction of housing and the addition of daycare spaces in the regions.
Manufacturers compete with players located all over the world. To maintain their competitiveness, it is necessary to ensure that Quebec establishes a business environment favourable to investment and innovation.
CME, therefore, recommends to :
- Promote innovation in manufacturing through research and development (R&D) by increasing, among other things, R&D tax credits.
- Accelerate the integration of new technologies to make SMEs more productive, notably by offering non-refundable contributions for the purchase of equipment, and provide coaching and training accordingly.
Supply chain and inflation
For over two years now, global supply chains have been disrupted, causing a real headache for manufacturers. In a survey conducted by CME, 90% of Quebec manufacturers say they are experiencing disruptions related to their supply chains, with 60% describing them as major or severe.
CME, therefore, proposes to:
- Protect and invest in essential economic infrastructures that facilitate trade and industrial development and improve maritime efficiency;
- Raise awareness and support SMEs to integrate sustainable development factors;
- Include in public contracts systematic adjustment mechanisms concerning inflation in public tenders.
“The problems of labour shortages and disruptions in supply chains persist and are slowing down the growth of manufacturers. Inflation is running rampant, and the lights are on for a possible economic downturn. There is a lot of uncertainty in our businesses right now. Given the three major issues facing manufacturers, we must ensure that we have a robust game plan with a long-term vision to protect our manufacturing sector in a sustainable manner. This is what we are proposing with our electoral platform,” concludes Ms. Proulx.