2017 AGM Message from the Chair
Published by CME Manitoba on April 26, 2017
Paul Remillard, Price Industries
Good morning CME members, fellow board members and CME staff. My apologies for being unable to attend this year’s AGM due to a scheduling conflict. I wish to thank George Groumoutis for volunteering to share the chair’s message to the board in my absence.
On the political landscape, a few years ago who could have guessed all of the events that unfolded over the course of the past year? Brexit - UK citizens voted to leave the European Union. CETA – a seven-year-in-the-making trade agreement between Canada and 500 million Europeans narrowly accepted. Donald Trump became the president of the US. His eyes are on “tweaking” NAFTA. Most recently, he has announced his plans to impose a 20 per cent tariff on softwood lumber imports from Canada. The fate of the dairy industry is soon to be determined as well.
Manufacturing and exporting are definitely not for the faint of heart. It requires a strong and capable team skilled in their craft and equipped with the latest techniques and tools. To that end, CME Manitoba has had a productive year adding additional tools to their toolbox. Examples include:
- Moved into their new home. A great facility with lots of space to facilitate training and meetings.
- Launched Made Safe. A team of professionals who provide health and safety services designed specifically for the needs of the manufacturing work environment. In partnership with SAFE Work Manitoba, Made Safe makes it easier for employers and workers to ensure workplaces are safe and productive.
- Participated in the development of Industrie 2030, a national strategy developed by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and our strategic partners to leverage the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and usher in a new era of manufacturing growth in Canada.
- Advanced the Leadership Development Program. A learning experience designed specifically to provide the people skills required to achieve continuous improvement in a LEAN environment.
- Initiated preparations for a tremendous LEAN conference in 2018.
- Recently held great conference followed by an outstanding gala dinner.
Additionally, there were some great discussions on the advocacy front. A couple of issues that stick out in my mind are red tape reduction for new equipment and ways to keep manufacturers competitive when competing against others located in jurisdictions not facing a carbon tax. While we are not yet where we want to be on these issues, united we have a louder voice and I believe we have caught the attention of those who have the ability to make it easier for manufacturers to grow and thrive in Manitoba. We must continue to apply pressure and CME is a great way to share our collective thoughts.
At this time, I would also like to acknowledge and thank a few board members who have served CME for many years and played a role in making CME Manitoba great.
- Marc Groenewegen, Boeing Canada, Winnipeg who retired from Boeing on November 30, 2016.
- Reynold Martens, GHY
- Craig McIntosh, Acrylon
- Diane Gray, CentrePort
- Marc Daudet, Herd
- John Cole, Palliser
I would also like to thank their successors who joined the board and who have admirably picked up the torch from their predecessors.
- Gary Hirt, Boeing Canada
- Roger Labossiere, GHY
- Cameron Hay, Acrylon
- Andrew Willms, Palliser
- Gurcan Kocdag, AGI
I’ll conclude by saying I once again look forward to working with the CME board and CME staff. I acknowledge I might be a little biased when I say this, but Manitoba’s team is the envy of the nation. We are doing the right things the right way and have some fun doing it.
Thank you to the CME staff for preparing this wonderful event and for the Norwood team’s wonderful service.
A huge thank you to everyone for taking time out of your incredibly busy schedules to participate in this year’s AGM.