September 1, 2015 10:39 am
Updated: September 1, 2015 11:06 am

Harper pledges support for shrinking manufacturing sector, fields questions on recession

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WATCH ABOVE: Harper announces ‘advanced manufacturing hub’ to support industry

BURLINGTON, Ont. – Stephen Harper is promising new support to Canada’s manufacturing sector as the latest economic numbers show that industry shrunk again in the second quarter of the year.

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Harper announced that if his Conservative government is re-elected, Burlington, Ontario will be the centre for a new, not-for-profit organization.

He says it will help develop new products and technologies for the manufacturing industry beginning in 2016-2017 at a cost of 30-million dollars annually for five years.

In-Depth: Federal Election 2015

A Conservative government would also set up a new trade promotion office within the prime minister’s own bureaucracy to help attract new business into Canada and Canadian exporters, paid for by reallocating other government resources.

Both ideas mirror suggestions made by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association in their policy pitch to federal party leaders on how to support the sector.

Manufacturing used to drive much of the economy in Ontario but the industry was slammed during the 2008 recession and the latest data from Statistics Canada shows its growth domestic product is in decline for the second quarter in a row.

Harper made the announcement at a steel factory, accompanied by two of his candidates for the solidly-Conservative area.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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