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CME President & CEO delivers remarks at AGM

Published by Stephanie Brooks on October 25, 2012

CME President & CEO, Jayson Myers, delivered the following address to the board and membership at the Annual General Meeting in Edmonton on October 23.

Report from the President & CEO

I am pleased to report on CME's record of achievement and the actions taken by the association to better serve Canada's manufacturers and exporters during our 2011/2012 business year.

Je suis heureux de faire état des réalisations et des actions prises par l'association pour mieux servir les manufacturiers et exportateurs au cours de notre exercice financier 2011-2012.

C'était une année de défis énonomiques pour l'industrie canadienne - une année où les activités de MEC étaient plus importantes que jamais, tant pour nos membres que pour les manufacturiers et exportateurs dans leur ensemble.

It was a year of continued economic challenge for Canadian industry - a year when CME's activities proved more important than ever, both to our members and to Canada's manufacturing and exporting sectors as a whole. CME is dedicated to helping Canadian manufacturers and exporters excel and grow in domestic and global markets.

Last year, under the leadership of our Chairman, Roy Cook, and the members of our National Board of Directors, CME identified three strategic priorities for our association:

1. Focus on providing top value for members through our advocacy and networking activities and our services that aim to save our members money, provide access to business opportunities, and showcase best management practices;

2. Engage our members more in our policy work, advocacy, programs, and services;

3. Focus on issues and activities where CME can play a leadership role in improving the business environment and providing services for Canada's manufacturers and exporters. In line with those priorities, CME significantly enhanced our national policy and advocacy efforts.

We expanded our national policy team and focused our policy resources on issues affecting manufacturing competitiveness, international business, US market access, skills, and energy and the environment. We increased member engagement in our policy committees and action groups, and regularized reporting and governance relationships between our policy committees and the Board. CME led all other business associations in Canada in meetings with senior public officials in both Canada and the United States. CME members participated in fly-ins and lobby days in Ottawa and Washington. And, we grew the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, which is chaired by CME, to 48 industry associations that all speak with a common voice in support of Canada's manufacturing sector.

CME's advocacy and leadership on policy issues resulted in a number of important wins for Canadian manufacturers and exporters last year, including:

  • An extension of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for investments in manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment in the 2011 Budget Implementation Act that followed the federal election; 
  • Agreement between Canada and the United States on the specific objectives of a Border and Regulatory Cooperation Action Plan reflecting the priorities of the Business for Better Borders Coalition led by CME; 
  • $19 million in additional funding delivered through CME's Smart Program for productivity improvements undertaken by manufacturers and exporters in Southern Ontario; 
  • Policy objectives identified by the National Roundtable for Workforce Skills, co-chaired by CME, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and the Canadian Labour Congress; 
  • Extension of domestic financing for Export Development Canada; 
  • New procurement decisions that will drive innovation in Canadian defence, aerospace, and shipbuilding sectors; in addition to, 
  • Progress made in trade negotiations with Europe and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

CME took the lead in promoting manufacturing and exporting issues with provincial governments as well. We championed corporate tax reforms in BC aimed at improving the tax treatment of manufacturing investments. We took the lead in forming the Alberta Industrial Alliance that brings industry associations together to advise the provincial government on policy issues. In Manitoba, CME's Centre of Excellence worked to enhance its support for manufacturers and exporters in the fields of business leadership, continuous improvement, innovation, and international business. We worked in Ontario, Quebec, BC, and the Atlantic provinces to connect manufacturers with business opportunities in international markets and in energy, resource, infrastructure, and shipbuilding projects in Canada.

Last year, CME launched our Industry Benefits Program, giving our members access to customized and preferred rate services provided by CME's business partners. We expanded participation in our Manufacturing Executive Councils. And, Innovation Insights continued to showcase best practices in innovation and business management for manufacturers and exporters across Canada. Through programs and services such as these, CME helped manufacturers and exporters reduce costs, identify business opportunities, and find solutions for their business problems.

Thanks to our partners and sponsors, CME was also able to organize workshops, conferences, and networking events connecting manufacturers and exporters to new business and educational opportunities, as well as to policymakers, across the country. These are some of the ways CME delivered bottom line value and new business opportunities to our members. We continue to build on these initiatives to develop a more extensive range of business services to support Canada's manufacturers and exporters. CME's priority objective is to serve our members well.

Our financial performance last year reflects the steps we have taken to respond to the changing needs of our members in very difficult economic times while implementing the strategic priorities of our business plan. I am pleased to report that with revenues of $36.0 million, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters recorded a $15,766 surplus last year. As a result, we were able to increase our accumulated surplus to $66,414. At year-end, CME had a cash position of $3.4 million with $1.1 million available for operating purposes. Our advocacy achievements and new program initiatives were made possible as a result of the input, engagement, and active participation of CME members across the country, and especially the members of our committees and divisional and National Boards of Directors.

I would like to thank all board members for their commitment, contributions, guidance, and support. I would especially like to thank our National Chairman, Roy Cook, for his leadership over the past three years, and members of CME's Executive Committee for the time, insight, and energy that they have dedicated to CME. Our members continue to face a challenging economic environment, and there is much that CME needs to do to in order to help them compete and grow. We will continue to demonstrate our value through what we are able to accomplish for manufacturers and exporters across Canada.

Our achievements are due above all to a skilled and dedicated CME staff. My thanks go to the professional team of colleagues with whom I am proud to work in support of our members.

Jayson Myers
President & CEO


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