By Sean Geobey
With each record set by the Canadian dollar, talk of crisis in Canada’s manufacturing sector grows louder.
Productivity growth here has trailed that of the United States for more than a quarter century, and now without a low dollar keeping our exports competitive, the decline of the sector is inevitable. At least that’s what we’re told.
Yet that same high dollar, coupled with a little ingenuity, gives us a rare chance to build a competitive and environmentally sustainable economy. Most of us know that a high Canadian dollar makes those shopping trips to the United States a great way to save money when expanding our winter wardrobes.
What we sometimes forget is that the same thing making a jacket in Buffalo so cheap applies to new machinery and equipment as well.
Historically, Canada has purchased a great deal of this machinery and equipment from abroad. Whether this has been used to process tar sands in Alberta, log forests in B.C. or build cars in Ontario, the tools we need to produce things in this country are usually produced somewhere else.