Dion Unveils Plan to Strengthen and Green the Canadian Manufacturing Sector
January 18, 2008
HAMILTON –A new Liberal government will create a $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Prosperity (AMP) Fund to support major investments in manufacturing and R&D facilities to help Canada’s manufacturing sector thrive in the global economy, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion announced today.
“Over the past year, as Leader of the Opposition, I have met repeatedly with key stakeholders in the manufacturing sector – workers, businesses, premiers as well as environmental groups,” Mr. Dion told the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “They all bring different viewpoints to the table, but there is consensus on one thing: they all want to see Canada’s manufacturing sector become a world leader in green technologies. The AMP Fund is designed to help accomplish precisely that.”
Mr. Dion explained that investments will be made in facilities that satisfy the following three criteria. The facilities will be required to:
“A Liberal government is committed to reducing corporate income taxes because we know that it boosts investment, attracts jobs, increases wages and improves our standard of living and therefore our quality of life, but tax cuts alone are not enough,” he said. “The federal government must partner with the manufacturing sector as it adjusts to recent economic shocks. That requires strategic investment.”
Mr. Dion said that Canada must also shorten the timeline for innovations to find their way from the lab to the marketplace so that companies are able to see a quicker return on their investment, encouraging them to put even more money into R&D.
To accomplish this, a Liberal government will make the Science Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit, which encourages private sector R&D, partially refundable so that companies will be able to take advantage of the credit, even if they are not profitable in the short term.
“Innovation is essential to the survival of our industries, but it can be an expensive undertaking,” he said. “We want every company that puts money into R&D to be rewarded for innovating. By offering incentives for companies to continue investing in R&D, the Liberal Party will encourage all companies to innovate, even if that innovation does not lead to immediate profitability.”
Over 2.1 million people across Canada rely on the manufacturing sector for their livelihoods –a sector which has felt a loss of more than 130,000 jobs in the last year.
Mr. Dion said that unlike the Conservatives who have turned their backs on the manufacturing sector, a new Liberal government will help Canada’s highly skilled workers to seize the enormous global business opportunities available through the green technologies of tomorrow.
“Stephen Harper is unwilling to help build a greener Canadian economy. If he plans to watch the manufacturing sector crumble instead of helping it to evolve, then he will not live up to anybody’s conception of good leadership,” said Mr. Dion.
“It was a Liberal government that fostered Canada’s recent economic prosperity. And it will be a Liberal government that works with Canadians to build the richer, fairer, greener Canada of tomorrow.”
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