Government of Canada supports innovative manufacturing businesses

News release

Support for innovative manufacturers / Close to $21M for innovative manufacturing in Quebec /

Minister Mélanie Joly announces close to $21M in investments to help businesses to adopt new technologies to bolster their resilience and competitiveness

Québec, Quebec, July 16, 2020 Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

The manufacturing industry is a significant contributor to Quebec’s economic growth, in addition to providing many jobs. The negative impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across many sectors in the economy, and the manufacturing sector has not been spared. Innovation and the integration of new technologies are proving to be key assets to enable SMEs in this industry to remain competitive and to enhance their productivity. By automating their processes, they are transforming how they operate, placing themselves in a better position to face the current situation related to the health crisis.

These SMEs need support, as the investments in monetary, material and human resources needed to make this shift are often considerable, and some fear it would imperil their financial health.

Innovation and automation serving business

The Government of Canada firmly believes that the vitality of an economy is founded on innovation, the creation of value-added products and the development of efficient processes. That is why, for many years now, it has been supporting innovation within businesses and encouraging the acquisition of digital skills.

Today, the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, accompanied by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and President of the Treasury Board, took the opportunity during a visit to Valmec to announce financial assistance totalling close to $21 million for 45 projects that have emerged across Quebec.

These contributions have enabled businesses to acquire and install new digital production equipment and integrate new tools with a view to modernizing their operations.

The growth of the manufacturing sector is essential for the Quebec economy, and competitiveness is the main issue facing manufacturers, who are confronted with a series of challenges such as productivity delays, labour shortages and funding. Moreover, with current physical distancing measures, the number of workers per square foot has had to be reduced in recent months. Establishing smart factories by investing in technology, automation and robotization is proving to be a key solution, particularly to enhance productivity and reduce human intervention and operating costs, as well as to facilitate the development of new markets.

Additional information on the projects and financial support is provided in a related backgrounder.


“We are working with innovative manufacturers to give them the tools they need to develop novel technologies and processes, to the benefit of workers across Quebec’s regions. Thanks to CED’s support, they can leverage innovation, a veritable economic engine and pillar of growth, to stimulate local economies and create good jobs in their regions. Our manufacturing businesses are thus in a better position to face the slowdown caused by COVID-19.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“Support for businesses leveraging innovation to grow, prosper and create good jobs is at the heart of the Government of Canada’s action. Here in Québec, like across the entire country, these businesses can count on us to boost their development and better equip them to face the current crisis.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and President of the Treasury Board

Quick facts

  • The six regional development agencies (RDAs) ensure that Canada’s regions are heard in Ottawa and that local economies and businesses receive the support they need to grow and prosper.

  • Canada’s RDAs focus on regional economic development and diversification to help communities prosper. With a very strong presence in communities, they know where the need for additional support is the greatest.

  • In Quebec, the manufacturing sector accounts for 24,000 businesses employing 500,000 workers, with sales totalling C$165 billion per year. It generates 15 percent of the gross domestic product and 89 percent of exports in Quebec.

Associated links


Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Jeremy Ghio
Communications Director
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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