TORONTO, June 28, 2012 /CNW/ - The CAW is warning that without renewed
federal government leadership Canada's aerospace industry is heading
for a stall and a vastly diminished role in this high-tech, global
"This technology-intensive, export-oriented industry makes a unique
contribution to a better role for Canada in the world economy," said
CAW President Ken Lewenza in a submission released today to the federal
government's Aerospace Review. "We can't take this sector for granted,"
Canada's successful aerospace industry is a living example of the wisdom
of pro-active industrial policy efforts by government, Lewenza said.
But the future is uncertain: Canada has lost 13,000 aerospace
manufacturing jobs in the last decade, or one out of four. And our
international trade performance has deteriorated: as recently as 2003
Canada had a $4.9 billion aerospace trade surplus - by 2011 that had
been cut by 60%.
As other leading aerospace manufacturing jurisdictions including the EU,
Japan and Brazil continue to strengthen investments in the industry,
and governments in emerging aerospace nations such as Mexico and China
work to aggressively capture a greater share of the global market,
Canada needs to do more, the submission highlights.
The global commercial aerospace industry is expected to grow strongly in
the decades ahead, but Canada needs to take action now to ensure it
remains part of this growth, states the CAW submission called Pulling Out of a Stall: Plotting a Renewed Course for Canada's Aerospace
"This is a long-term business and we need to act now to make sure Canada
stays in the game and that we continue to create high-tech, good jobs,"
said Dawn Cartwright, CAW aerospace director.
The 10-page CAW submission highlights six areas for strengthening
government involvement in aerospace manufacturing. These
maximizing Canadian content, spin-off benefits and production offsets
arising from procurement of military and civilian aircraft. The CAW has
termed the massive F-35 jet fighter procurement as misguided and called
for any contract to guarantee dollar-for-dollar investment in Canada.
The CAW is also calling for the replacement contract for aging search
and rescue aircraft to be awarded to a Canadian company;
using government research and development and investment support to
ensure that key product development programs and production are
undertaken in Canada;
addressing Canada's trade imbalance by demanding reciprocity in foreign
trade: Europe, Asia and Brazil must accept imports of our aerospace
products in return for our purchases of their products;
Other recommendations outlined in the CAW submission include enhancing
skills development in the aerospace sector and the establishment of a
sustained aerospace development council.
Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW President, said the final report of the
Aerospace Review to be completed later this year must be made public
when reported to government. He urged the federal government to respond
quickly and take steps to strengthen the industry as soon as possible.
"The ongoing support and leadership role of the federal government in
building a stronger Canadian aerospace industry is crucial," Dias said.
To see CAW's full submission to the aerospace review please visit: http://www.caw.ca/en/11312.htm
To see CAW'S full submission to the aerospace review in French please
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
CAW Communications, John McClyment, cell, 416-315-3202, or CAW Aerospace Director Dawn Cartwright, cell, 416-917-7720.