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Notes for an address by
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada,
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and
Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Corresponding Document: News release (2008-03-07)
Check Against Delivery
Thank you Ms. (Norma) Schneider and good morning everyone.
I am delighted to be here today on behalf of the Government of Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada.
To begin, I would like to acknowledge my fellow platform guests:
Wendy Kinsella, Chair of the NorQuest Board of Governors; and Norma Schneider, Dean of Business and Industry at NorQuest College.
Today’s funding announcement is a great example of what can be accomplished when academia and government work together to help industry and business partners increase competitiveness and productivity.
Western Canada’s print industry is part of a manufacturing sector that is experiencing solid growth.
In Alberta alone, the industry employs an estimated 3,000 people in 421 businesses—the majority of which are small businesses that must take advantage of new technologies to remain competitive.
This is why I am proud to announce that the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, is investing over $1.4 million towards the purchase of new printing technology equipment.
NorQuest’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media Communications will strengthen the western Canadian printing industry by providing a location for the testing and implementation of new print technologies.
It also provides an opportunity for small and large businesses to develop transition plans to integrate new technologies into their operations, which in turn, will improve productivity.
As the federal department responsible for economic diversification in the West, WD is working to ensure a prosperous future for western Canadians by increasing value-added production in the resource and manufacturing sectors.
This is achieved by supporting industry-wide initiatives in priority sectors – such as manufacturing – that introduce new technologies and innovations to existing production and processes.
Our government recognizes that Western Canada’s manufacturing sector is vital to our economic foundation—providing employment for thousands of people, and allowing businesses to make their products and exports more marketable.
We are standing up for Canada’s traditional industries.
In January of this year, we announced a $1 billion commitment towards the Community Development Trust to help communities experiencing hardship due to international economic volatility.
This Trust will support the provinces and territories in their efforts to foster economic development, create jobs and stimulate economic diversification.
The Community Development Trust will help traditional industries meet the challenges of the skilled-workers shortage, and the fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar.
Budget 2008 also underlines our commitment to create a more competitive and innovative economy through our long-term economic plan called Advantage Canada.
Our government is providing broad-based tax relief for individuals, families and businesses of $60 billion over this and the next five fiscal years.
This translates to over $8.6 billion in tax relief for Alberta over this and the next five fiscal years.
We are also delivering $1.3 billion per year in additional funding for post-secondary training and education to create a more highly skilled workforce.
In the past few years, the print industry has been undergoing significant changes—namely, the shift from traditional manufacturing to electronic media.
The future success of western Canadian businesses in the print industry depends on the adoption and continued integration of new technologies in this growth environment.
The new Centre will create an environment where industry can work together in collaboration and coordination with partners and stakeholders to solve problems and create opportunities.
Partnerships form the cornerstone of success, and today we have taken an important step in addressing a need within this industry.
On behalf of the Government of Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada, I would like to congratulate NorQuest College for their commitment to improving and strengthening the print manufacturing industry.