Ministers Alghabra, Bibeau, Champagne, Ng, O’Regan and Qualtrough hosted a National Summit to strengthen Canada’s supply chain

News release

January 31, 2022    Ottawa    Transport Canada

Global supply chains have been disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of climate change. Ensuring that Canadians are able to put food on their tables and buy the goods and other critical supplies they need is a top priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, the Honourable Mary Ng, the Minister of Labour, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, hosted a National Supply Chain Summit.

This Summit brought together business and industry leaders and associations to discuss the challenges facing Canada’s supply chain and to identify potential solutions to ensure that what Canadians need reach their households as quickly as possible. A well-functioning supply chain supports good, middle-class jobs and keeps goods moving to Canadians.

Participants for this initial event included a broad representation of Canadian organizations including business associations, manufacturers, exporters associations, as well as chief executive officers of railway, marine, air, trucking and retail companies.

Ministers also announced that over the coming weeks, this Summit will be followed by a series of regional and industry sessions to continue the dialogue.

To further advance this work, a new Supply Chain Task Force will be created. The Task Force will consult with industry experts to make recommendations regarding short and long-term actions pertaining to Canada’s supply chain. In addition, Transport Canada will make available an online portal for stakeholders and businesses to be able to provide opinions and suggestions.

Today, Minister Alghabra announced a new, $50 million targeted call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) to immediately relieve supply chain congestion at Canadian ports, for example by increasing their storage capacity. 

Budget 2021 also provided an additional $1.9 billion over four years to recapitalize the National Trade Corridor Fund that makes our supply chain more efficient and supports our economic recovery.

Quotes

“This National Summit was the perfect venue to collaborate with industry partners on how to identify ways to mitigate supply chain pressures, and to encourage partners to come up with innovative solutions. An efficient and reliable transportation network is key to Canada's economic growth. The Summit represented an important milestone to discuss challenges, strategies, and next steps that will support Canada’s transportation supply chain.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“Despite the combined effects of labor shortages, climate change and the pandemic, our supply chain continues to demonstrate resilience. Through collaboration with industry, provinces and international partners, our government will continue to support initiatives that will help agricultural producers and agri-food processors operate under the best possible conditions to ensure food security for all Canadians.”

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Resilient and efficient supply chains are not only critical to ensure Canadian companies’ competitiveness, but also for the daily lives of Canadians. We will continue to work with industry to implement practical, innovative, and transformative solutions that will strengthen our supply chains, and enhance the timely movement of goods, materials, and commodities.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canada will keep working closely with our international partners to strengthen rules-based international trade and provide predictability for businesses. Our government will continue to diversify trade and give our businesses access to additional markets and supply chains around the world.”

The Honourable Mary Ng
Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

“The pandemic has had a huge effect on the labour market, causing worker shortages across many industries, including transportation. These disruptions in the supply chain have a real impact on the daily lives of all Canadians. That’s why our government is making significant, strategic investments to address these shortages, not to simply build back quickly, but to build back better with lasting solutions.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Quick facts

  • To increase the fluidity of Canada’s supply chain, on December 9, 2021, the Government of Canada launched a call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF). The NTCF funds projects that improve the flow of goods and people in Canada as well as increase the flow of trade in and out of Canada.

  • The new call accepts expressions of interest until March 31, 2022. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a comprehensive project proposal by June 30, 2022.

  • In 2020, the value of Canada’s international merchandise trade (imports and exports) was $1.07 Trillion

  • Wholesale and retail trades account for 10.5% of Canada’s GDP.

  • Over the past two years, the demand for consumer goods in North America has been higher than the global average by around 5 percentage points (8% as opposed to 3%), which creates more pressure than anywhere else on transportation supply chains.

  • Canadian manufacturers are particularly vulnerable to shocks and disruptions of global supply chains, as they rely on foreign suppliers for importing crucial inputs and on foreign markets for selling their products.

  • Marine ports are important supply chain hubs in Canada, handling a diversified range of cargo and connecting coast lines to inland markets where goods are shipped by railways and trucks.

  • The Port of Vancouver is the largest in Canada and handles $1 of every $3 of Canada’s trade in goods outside of North America.

  • Through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, funding is available for projects that will help connect Canadians with the training they need to access good jobs in sectors hard-hit by the pandemic as well as in health care and sectors that contribute to the low carbon economy. Organizations can apply until March 18, 2022.

Associated links

Contacts

Laurel Lennox
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Laurel.Lennox@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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