Canadian manufacturing week more than a trade show
Canadian Manufacturing Week (CMW), a showcase for design engineering, maintenance products and industrial support services, was held at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON, Sept. 23-25, 2008. ...
By MRO Magazine
Canadian Manufacturing Week (CMW), a showcase for design engineering, maintenance products and industrial support services, was held at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON, Sept. 23-25, 2008. More than a trade show, it included hands-on demonstrations and expert-led conference sessions, along with a colocated event, Weld Expo Canada.
A keynote speaker at the event, which was organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), was former Canadian Auto Workers Union president Buzz Hargrove, who told the audience that the Stephen Harper government doesn’t understand the needs of Canada’s beleaguered manufacturing sector.
“Mr. Harper’s government is responsible for international trade,” he said. “We have gone from being one of the most successful trading nations in the world to now when we’re running a deficit. The government is quite comfortable in letting the markets decide when the markets almost destroyed the financial sector in the U. S.”
“We must insist that our government get back to fair trade principles,” Hargrove told the audience. “It must be a two-way street,” he added, citing the lack of access Canadian auto makers have to markets such as Japan and Korea
CMW also featured an interactive Town Hall session that included Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corp., Roy Verstraete, president of Anchor Daly and Jayson Myers, president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME). The panel discussed the future of manufacturing in Canada and what manufacturers can do to remain viable and competitive.
Myers said that for manufacturers to survive and grow, their strategy needs to be about not just producing products, but about finding solutions to their customers’ problems. He also talked about the opportunities available in Western Canada. “In the next decade, $1 trillion of investment opportunity will be in Alberta,” he said. “It would take 20 years of exporting to China to reach that level.”
Photographs by Eric Achilles, MRO Magazine.