Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - CME SMART Program Funding Announcement for OZ Optics Limited

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario

April 27, 2015

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests. I would like to thank you all for joining me here today.

As you know, our Government's top priority remains job creation, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

As the Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, or FedDev Ontario, I speak to a lot of business owners. I am also a former small business owner myself and know that running a small business means long hours and selfless sacrifice.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our Government believes an owner's time is best served growing their business, rather than being bogged down in taxes and red tape. I also know that it's often hard to find the extra capital to make investments in business growth.

Through Economic Action Plan 2015, delivered last week by my colleague Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Finance, we will help in all of these areas.

We propose reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent by 2019. This will be the largest tax rate cut for small businesses in more than 25 years.

We will cut red tape by reducing the tax compliance burden faced by businesses.

For manufacturers like you, we will boost this sector's productivity by introducing a 10-year investment incentive that will allow a faster write-off for machinery and equipment.

Providing the new incentive over a 10-year period gives businesses greater planning certainty for larger projects that take time to fully realize, including those with multiple phases.

When Canadian companies invest in state-of-the-art equipment and structures, they increase their productivity and competitiveness.

Another area I'd like to touch on is international trade and investment.

I understand that your company's seven different product groups are marketed and sold globally to more than 10,000 customers in more than 60 countries. So I know you would agree that it's important to reduce trade barriers and help exporters access foreign markets.

Since 2006, our Government has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries, bringing Canada's total to 43.

With new trade agreements complete, and more to be in place soon, Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes $152 million in trade promotion investments over the next five years to help Canadian businesses fully capitalize on global opportunities.

Ladies and gentlemen, what is good for Canadian manufacturers is good for Canadians, as they employ close to 1.7 million people all across the country in good jobs that pay well.

All of these measures build on existing programming delivered by my Agency, FedDev Ontario, for manufacturing projects in southern Ontario.

Since 2009, I am proud to say that FedDev Ontario has committed almost $350 million to an expected 2,100 direct and indirect manufacturing projects. 

A great example is the SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth program, delivered by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, or CME.

In November 2014, we announced $20 million for this program in southern Ontario. It helps export-oriented manufacturers, such as OZ Optics, accelerate their investment in advanced technologies.

Businesses can apply to CME for funding to conduct technology assessments and adopt advanced technologies, such as robotics, 3D printing and automated materials handling.

This type of program is well-suited to a company like yours, with an established track record and is looking to improve productivity and capabilities. In fact, I know that you have also taken advantage of support through the previous CME SMART Prosperity Now funding and the Yves Landry Foundation's AIME Global initiative to undertake important productivity improvements.

Today, I'm pleased to be here to announce a contribution of up to $100,000 to automate and optimize your laser writing process.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first announcement through the new CME SMART program.

I understand that femtosecond laser direct writing of transparent materials is a powerful and flexible technique for rapid production of micro-devices, like optical amplifiers. And that with this funding, you will be able to manufacture better devices and at a faster rate than before.

This is good for your business, as I know that you have a broad range of customers in the telecommunications, cable television, medical, military, security, industrial, construction, aerospace, power utilities, petrochemical and educational sectors.

OZ Optics Limited is a perfect example of what our government is trying to achieve through its manufacturing and small business agenda.

Congratulations on this new project.

I look forward to seeing your R&D areas and laser lab shortly.

I hope that more companies like yours will seize opportunities for growth and expansion, to ensure that manufacturing remains an engine of our economy.

Thank you.

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