"We need to make sure that we're pitching Canadians' advantage over other countries to draw in global investment," he told CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive in an interview.
He probably knows better than I do. Me, I think the expectation is increasingly that people want low-cost products that do the job. Even items that tend to be as much about image as function - cars, for instance - people are increasingly looking for opportunities to spend less, not more.
Quality, yes, but much like government procurement, it's often the lowest-cost option that's going to be the winner.
Canada cannot and shouldn't want to compete where it comes to cheaper and less safe labour. In fact, I'm pretty sure we'd have to change some laws if we wanted to be competitive that way.
Manufacturing isn't about working creatively - not traditional manufacturing, at any rate. It's about accuracy, repetition and speed.
If we want to harness creativity and high levels of education, we need a strategy that focuses on markets that demand those skills - advanced manufacturing, perhaps, but also coding, tech, innovative services and products, etc.
I'd love to see a strategy that does that.