Tackling Canada’s Supply Chain Critical to Economic RecoveryMarch 15, 2022
(Toronto, March 15, 2022) – The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, along with ongoing climate-related disasters, have exposed structural weaknesses across domestic and international supply chains, threatening Canada’s economic and national security, and business competitiveness. Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its Policy Primer: Supply Chain Disruptions and Delays to provide a snapshot of the issues along with short and long-term recommendations for the provincial and federal governments.
“While amplified by the public health and economic crisis, decades of underinvestment in infrastructure and public policy choices led to fragile supply chains across a range of sectors and products in Canada,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “As the indispensable partner of business, we need to see bold, whole-of-government action to strengthen domestic competitiveness and supply chain resilience.”
While provincial and federal governments have taken steps to strengthen supply chains and domestic manufacturing in Canada related to pandemic health measures, businesses are facing enormous challenges when it comes to supply and inventory management. This unpredictability threatens business continuity and economic recovery.
“With continued strains on global supply chains, CEOs are looking to disentangle increasingly complex supply chain logistics, with 67 per cent saying they will increase investment in detection and innovation processes,” says Jérôme Thirion, Partner and National Leader, Supply Chain and Operations Services, KPMG in Canada.
“Provincial and federal governments have a responsibility to investigate pain points along supply chains and make necessary infrastructure investments to ensure their reliability over the long term,” said Ester Gerassime, Economic Analyst, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “However, there is an immediate need for temporary supports for businesses disproportionately impacted by the supply chain crisis and measures to help alleviate components of the problem such as labour shortages.” The OCC’s 2022 Ontario Economic Report found that over 62 percent of sectors in Ontario are currently facing labour shortages.
Key takeaways from the Primer include:
- Public and private sector collaboration is a must. The OCC would like to see an emergency task force consisting of government and businesses to explore potential support measures, particularly for small businesses still recovering from lost revenues due to COVID and are unable to compete.
- A workforce development strategy is required. Governments should help promote the transportation sector as a viable career through immigration pathways, training incentives and agreements.
- We need to bring our ports and infrastructure into the 21st Outdated infrastructure at ports and along supply chain routes is a major factor in disruptions and simply cannot keep up with the demand. Longer term, we need to have a formal supply chain infrastructure assessment to address bottlenecks and inefficiencies along the supply chain.
The OCC’s Policy Primer Series are short briefs on emerging issues intended to inform and provide recommendations to public policymakers. This Policy Primer was informed by the Chamber’s Infrastructure Policy Council which continues to engage with government and the business community on this pressing issue.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
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