Manufacturing in Canada is showing signs of life as new data points to progress

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Employees work on the SeaDoo assembly line at the Bombardier Recreational Products plant in Valcourt, Que.

OTTAWA — Manufacturing has been viewed, fairly or not, as the sick sector of Canada, still struggling to shake off the 2008-09 recession and get back on its feet.

The long recovery period has been well-charted, with many critics blaming the industry for not doing enough to help itself out. The usual prescriptions have always called for more investment and expansion into new markets. The cheap Canadian dollar was supposed to assist in the healing process by making Canadian exports all the more palatable.

The process has been slow and inconsistent. But as the latest data show, there is some progress being made.

Factory shipments declined by 0.9 per cent in March, according to Statistics Canada, compared with a decline of four per cent in February.

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