Reshoring Canada is a new non-partisan organization that advocates for Canadian supply chain modernization and resiliency and promotes modern and secure reshoring measures.
It was created by a group of former parliamentarians that includes me, a former federal industry minister; Sandra Pupatello, former Ontario minister of economic development and trade; Christian Paradis, former federal industry minister; and Brian Storseth, former Alberta parliamentarian.
This organization was created after it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed much risk to Canadian supply chains and impacted every sector from oil and gas to mining and manufacturing. Because the national threat has been significant, the creators of Reshoring Canada have been looking for ways to find help for the economy.
A current example that reinforces the need for an initiative like Reshoring Canada is the inability of the country to produce COVID-19 vaccines locally. Canada’s demand for vaccines outweighs the supply because of the limited capability of domestic vaccine manufacturing. Canada has been reliant on foreign actors to supply its population with vaccines.
This issue showed every industry, including manufacturing, that strong supply chains can still collapse, especially when geography and politics are involved. The presence of local resources and raw materials in Canada is crucial to prevent shortages.
Reshoring more production to Canada is the only way to truly solve this problem.
Canada also has a skilled labour shortage, and this shortage may become a more alarming issue as work returns. When the opportunity arises for work to return to Canada, manufacturers must be prepared to handle it. For this to take hold, the skilled trades gap needs to be closed.
When Harry Moser began the Reshoring Initiative in the U.S., there was a belief that a rising tide raises all boats. Reshoring Canada also hopes to positively affect current trade deals and the CUSMA partnerships. Dennis Darby, president/CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), has stated, “Canada, Mexico, and the United States don’t trade with each other anymore – we build things together,” and this is what Reshoring Canada aims to help with.
Reshoring Canada plans to aid key stakeholders who can make changes that support Canadian industries and secure jobs. Its first order of business is moving from anecdotal evidence of risk to hard data.
The organization recently launched its first countrywide survey to identify supply chain challenges faced by industry partners in several sectors of the Canadian economy. Several Canadian industry associations are assisting by surveying their members, which will lead to more targeted and concrete data.
With the help of these key industry associations, Reshoring Canada will be able to solidify the kind of data required to make substantial recommendations to the government and other key stakeholders.
Companies that are interested in participating in the survey can visit reshoringcanada.ca/supplychainsurvey