Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

December 01, 2009 14:34 ET

CME, Ontario Government SMART Partnership Saves 6,395 jobs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2009) - Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), together with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, today announced that 6,395 jobs have been retained during the deepest economic slowdown since the Great Depression, as a result of the first Phase of the joint private-public SMART partnership.

CME's SMART program was established in 2008 with a $25 million funding contribution provided by the Ontario Government. The program is designed to support productivity improvement initiatives on the part of small and medium-sized manufacturers across Ontario, and specifically aims to improve production processes, energy efficiency, and the management of information and communication technologies. The funding provided by the Ontario Government has helped 435 Ontario companies become more competitive during this period of economic turmoil. Another 3,312 new jobs are forecast to be created as a direct result of projects yet to be completed under this initiative.

Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello made the announcement today during a meeting of CME members and Members of the Legislative Assembly at Queen's Park.

"Investing in new processes, new technologies and new skills is essential to remaining competitive in today's economy," said Minister Pupatello. "We're proud to partner with CME in providing Ontario's small and medium-sized manufacturers with the tools they need to succeed. The Ontario government is committed to a strong and vibrant manufacturing sector."

"SMART is pleased to assist manufacturers in the nation's industrial heartland to make the necessary investment in their future," said Ian Howcroft, vice president of CME Ontario. "Manufacturing is working for many smaller companies in Ontario, thanks to our SMART partnership with the Ontario government."

Approved projects are as diverse as the Ontario manufacturing sector and range from upgrading equipment capabilities to switching to cellular manufacturing; implementing ERP systems to energy efficient lighting.

"Through SMART, CME is proud to play a leadership role in helping manufacturers in Ontario become better equipped to compete and win in the new economy," added Howcroft. "As a direct result of this partnership with the Ontario government, many manufacturers are now equipped with the tools they need to get smart about the way they do business, get fit so they can survive today's tough times and get ready for growth and innovation."

An entire list of SMART recipients can be found at


The government of Ontario provided $25 million in funding for the SMART Program as part of the 2008 provincial budget. Ministry of Economic Development staff worked closely with CME to develop and prepare the program for launch.

All Ontario-based manufacturers who have between 10 – 500 employees per plant were eligible to apply for up to a $50,000 grant from the program, which is funded by the Ontario government and sponsored by CME. SMART focused on four specific improvement areas – productivity, IT best practices, health and safety or energy efficient programs. Each plant can qualify for an award of up to $50,000 and funds were matched between SMART and the manufacturer. All funding applications were subject to an extensive screening an evaluation process by industry experts.

Based on the success of the first Phase of project funding, the federal Government's new Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, FEDDEV, has committed an additional $15 million to CME's SMART program for 2009.

For more information on the SMART Program, visit or contact the SMART Team at 1-877-913-4263.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

The association directly represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. As Canada's leading business network, CME, through various initiatives including and the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.

Contact Information

  • Louise Rubletz
    1-877-913-4263 ext. 3281 or Cell 1-647-241-9008