Mar 25, 2016 | By Kira

Ontario, the Canadian province home to both political capital Ottawa and international business center Toronto, announced that it is making “critical investments” to strengthen global competitiveness and deliver on the province’s number-one priority to grow the economy and create new jobs. A key part of the $400 million Business Growth Plan (BGI) includes a $40 million investment into advanced manufacturing, including additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke at the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Industrie 2030 summit on March 22 to announce the plan and confirm the government’s ongoing support of a stronger and more dynamic manufacturing sector that can not only fulfil, but also create the in-demand, high-skilled jobs of tomorrow.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at the CME Industrie 2030 summit

The BGI strategy includes a five-year, $35 million investment into the Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, and a 10-year, $5 million investment to establish the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing. Both programs were created to provide support to traditional manufacturers as they learn and master the skills required in today’s evolving economic landscape.

Through the Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, three prestigious Ontario universities, McMaster, Waterloo and Western, will collaborate with industry partners on long-term industrial innovation projects in the fields of digital components and additive manufacturing, which Wynne noted was the process “used to build 3D objects.”

“Our government continues to make the necessary investments to strengthen Ontario’s reputation as a leader in the global knowledge economy and create the highly skilled jobs of tomorrow,” said Wynne. “By driving innovation in advanced manufacturing, we are reinforcing our position as one of the best places in the world to do business — now and in the future.”

“The manufacturing sector is a crucial part of Ontario’s economy, which is why we need to take an active role in providing the essential tools to allow them to adapt and succeed globally,” added Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. “We are working hard to lower the cost of doing business, facilitate quicker scale up, and foster innovation. We are working hand in hand with the sector to create next generation jobs and build stronger, more resilient globally competitive companies.”

In addition to the $40 million investment into advanced and additive manufacturing, the BGI’s four-part plan includes finding ways to help more people get high-value jobs in the first place. This includes expanding access to college and university education, and creating the Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy Expert Panel, which will help Ontario adapt to the demands of a “dynamic, knowledge-based economy.”

The BGI also represents the largest investment into public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, and includes investing in a low-carbon economy. The CME, Canada’s largest trade and industry association, will therefore help Ontario to invest $25 million in a Green SMART energy efficiency program to help small and medium-sized businesses reduce emissions and become more energy efficient.

The Industrie 2030 summit took place in the town of Oakville, a manufacturing hub in the province and home to several industry giants that have already adopted advanced manufacturing, including Ford Motor Company of Canada, UTC Aerospace Systems, GE Water & Process Technologies and Dana Corporation. Ontario Labour Minister and Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn was present at the session, and commented that Oakville has become the province’s “manufacturing community of choice.”

As Canada’s national unemployment rate continues to edge upwards—with 11,000 jobs lost as of early 2016 in the manufacturing sector alone—Ontario has been the only province to continuously add jobs. This $40 million investment into advanced manufacturing, including additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology, will hopefully continue that trend, and secure Ontario workers with the skills they’ll need for the high-value jobs of tomorrow.



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R wrote at 3/26/2016 7:26:52 AM:

Love to read about Canadian governments' "investing"; I wonder where they got their money from, it must be from all those "voluntary" tax donations. Take money from the private sector (that has no idea how and where to use their own profits) and have some government bureaucrats make the industry "investment" decisions, while paying themselves and their university bodies along the way. The current Ontario government spends tax dollars like a drunken rock star, which they have not spent even a minute earning. Ontario has a greater dept-per-capita than California, so I am sure the current Canadian governments' (federal and provincial) track record of "investing" is sound. Sovereign Dept crisis more like it in the next 4 years.

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