Government "seizing the opportunity" to leverage military procurement to drive jobs in high-end manufacturing
OTTAWA--The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) strongly endorses the federal government's commitment to create and implement a defence procurement strategy in which Canadian companies will be part of any plan to build equipment for the Canadian Forces, as expressed today in the federal Budget.
"Military procurement is the largest single area of discretionary spending the government has," said Mr. Page. "The Government is boldly seizing the opportunity this spending represents to create jobs, especially high-end manufacturing jobs, in the Canadian defence and security sector. This is an important step forward, putting Canada on a similar footing to other highly industrialized countries with clear strategies to promote their defence and security sectors."
Mr. Page added, "The government's commitment in the Budget recognizes that it is in the national interest to have a strong, innovative, domestic defence-related manufacturing base that produces leading edge equipment, generates high-value exports, and supports knowledge-based jobs for Canadians."
CADSI had broadly supported recommendations put forward by OpenText chairman Tom Jenkins in his report to the government on leveraging defence procurement around Key Industrial Capabilities in the Canadian sector. "Our industry is delighted that the government endorsed Tom Jenkins' proposal to use Key Industrial Capabilities to leverage military procurement and has committed to expediting the implementation of the Jenkins recommendations this Spring," said Mr. Page.
Mr. Page welcomed the Government's commitment to actively promoting the significant export opportunities for Canadian-produced goods and services in the defence and security sector, which are crucial to the long term success and sustainability of the industry.
Page said the government has recognized that implementing the announced procurement strategy in the Budget includes the need for process reform. Two key elements of the proposed reform package, which CADSI strongly endorses, are:
a plan for participation by Canadian industry prior to approving defence projects; and,
an effective challenge function at the front end of the procurement process to better manage risk, cost, and equipment specifications.
"We look forward to getting down to business with the government at its first opportunity, to contribute to the effective and timely implementation of these very important policy commitments."
CADSI is the voice of Canada's defence and security industries. CADSI represents over 950 member companies who are essential contributors to Canada's national defence and security. The sector employs 109, 000 Canadians and generated over 12.6 billion dollars to the Canadian economy in 2011.