Unifor supports Canadian Content Requirements; requests governments do more, not less.
Unifor has long been an active advocate of Canadian content and Industrial Regional Benefit requirements in government procurement of manufactured goods from transit vehicles to defense infrastructure.
Local content requirements require a certain share of goods purchased through government procurement are made in Canada. These requirements support good, local jobs; fuel economic development; and generate tax revenue; that revenue is then used to pursue additional goals including administering health care, greening the economy and building more infrastructure.
Collectively, our federal, provincial and local governments spend about one out of every four dollars in the economy on hospitals, bridges, subways, buses, ferries, roads and offices. Where and how that money is spent is vital to how our economy is shaped – it can create jobs, invest in local companies (large and small) and create additional spinoff benefits including higher tech innovations and business for supplier firms.
Public investment and procurement in key manufacturing sectors is vital to our future and is good policy. We need strategic government investment that leverages new technology; locks-in commitments to investment and development; and secures Canadian jobs.
Local content requirements are standard practice in other large economies, including the United States and China. Governments the world over understand the value of domestic purchasing requirements in fostering middle class employment and a fair future for workers in the local jurisdiction.
The 2008 Ontario government decision to enact Canadian content requirements continues to be sound public policy. Unifor supports the Ontario government continued commitment to 25% Canadian content in all transit vehicles purchased with Ontario government funding and encourages the government to strictly enforce the current rules to ensure public expenditures continue to produce high quality jobs in Canada.
Unifor encourages Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal governments to enact and, where relevant, increase Canadian content requirements and magnify the positive impact government spending can have on the Canadian economy and the public good.