Survey reveals industry losing millions due to border issues

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Release


Jan. 28, 2021—The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA), in partnership with the Canadian Association of Moldmakers, (CAMM), Automate Canada and the Niagara Industrial Association (NIA), conducted a survey to measure the effects of border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic within the manufacturing industry.
The results are sobering: More than two thirds of manufacturers have lost business amounting to tens of millions of dollars due to issues at the Canada/U.S. border. Of the 39 participants , 80% revealed they require their U.S.-based customers or suppliers to visit their facility for project inspections, sign offs or technical support or service.
“Manufacturing is essential. Manufacturers produce food, pharmaceutical goods and common products so important to our daily lives,” said Shelley Fellows, Chair, Automate Canada. “The tool and die, mould making and industrial automation sectors are vital pillars of support for manufacturing, as they provide equipment, software, services and tools to keep manufacturing running.”
The chain of support necessary to get food to our tables and goods to store shelves is complicated; underpinning it are the machinists, engineers, programmers and specialists who keep manufacturing facilities running. These are the faces behind our industrial automation, mouldmaking, and tool and die companies who are dealing with challenges serving their Canadian and U.S. customers.
The survey revealed that 65% of respondents have experienced moderate to substantial effects on their businesses. Almost three quarters of companies reported they have or will have a negative financial impact specifically due to border crossing issues. More than a third of respondents reported that the magnitude is $1 million or more.
The Associations recommend government officials provide a clearer definition of "essential workers" to help Canada Border Services Agency personnel better understand the guidelines; provide more detail on documentation requirements, and implement rapid testing at ports of entry to reduce quarantine periods for individuals travelling across the border to perform essential services.
“To be clear, our associations are not asking for the border to open, but rather a process to keep everyone safe and at the same time be able to continue to operate essential services,” 
Robert Cattle, Executive Director, CTMA.
About Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA)
The CTMA is a not-for-profit association that represents, supports and promotes the interests of the Canadian tooling and precision metalworking industries. It was established in 1963, by uniting various trade associations into one strong organization that represented the “Tooling Industry” in Canada. It’s head office is located in Cambridge, Ontario. Visit
For more information, please contact:
Robert Cattle, Executive Director
Tel: (416) 301-6224
About Automate Canada
Automate Canada is a not-for-profit industry driven association focusing on the industrial automation and advanced manufacturing technology sectors of Canada. It is based in Windsor, Ontario. Visit
For more information, please contact:
Shelley Fellows, Chair
Tel: (226) 344-8185
About Canadian Association of Moldmakers (CAMM)
CAMM is a not-for-profit industry driven association focusing on the Canadian mold making sector. It is based in Windsor, Ontario. Visit
For more information, please contact:
Diane Deslippe, Executive Director
Tel: 519-919-0432
Jon Azzopardi, Chair
Tel: 226- 340-0783
About Niagara Industrial Association
The NIA is the only Niagara-based organization that focuses solely on advancing the interests of Niagara’s industrial sector to ensure Niagara is a competitive place to do business. Visit

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Don Cyr, Chair
Tel: 905-650-9905
Sophia DeLuca , Operations Manager
Tel: 289-969-6008