Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the 2018 UPS Management Conference in Toronto, Ontario
Now I know many people in this room, actually, probably all of you in this room, are familiar with David’s story, but it’s one worth telling again for the folks at home. You see, David first joined UPS as a part-time employee when he was just 18 years old. Like many college students, he wanted to make some money after class so he could take his high school sweetheart out for a meal. As he stands here today, I think it goes without saying that he worked incredibly hard to get where he is today. But I mention David’s story because there is no better example of UPS’s dedication to its people. To me, his journey represents not only what the company stands for, but what it hopes to achieve here in Canada, and of course around the world. While employees like David work their way up the corporate ladder, UPS became a global leader in the industry.
During that time, UPS decided to extend its activities beyond its borders. In 1975, the American company entered the Canadian market. Since then, it has created thousands of jobs in Canada and around the world – and it continues to do so to this day.
When a company invests in its people and in growth, every employee can share that pride and success. At UPS, someone like David didn’t doubt his place or his value to a growing enterprise. Organizations like UPS send a powerful message to their workers. Here, handwork pays off. These are exactly the kinds of companies that we want more of in Canada. Companies that value their employees and create better opportunities for working people to get ahead today, and well into the future. That’s why I’m so proud to welcome UPS’s decision to invest more than 500 million dollars in Canada, to add more than a million square feet in facility space across the country, and create more than 1,000 jobs in the coming years.
In addition to increasing its presence in Montréal, the company also plans to invest in the Greater Toronto Area, in other regions of Ontario, as well as in Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta. When I first became a politician, I had the chance to visit the UPS hub in Montréal. It was one of my first visits as a young MP, and I still have fond memories of that visit.
It’s actually one of those little connections between us that in my very early days as a politician I got invited to an event, or a ceremony, or an opening of some sort at the UPS facility in Montreal, and it was one of the very first times that I got to go and do an official event as I might have even still been a candidate. But it just felt so great for, you know, a big important company like UPS to actually care about inviting a little local politician over. So, I’m back today! I’ve done okay in the past few years, but so have you guys.
These new investments will help create more than a thousand good jobs for middle‑class Canadians. Jobs for parents who have kids to feed, and retirement to plan for. Jobs for young people, or newcomers seeking to enter the labour market, or even for people looking for a career change. This is good news for Canada, and especially for Canadians. That said, a decision of this magnitude is not made lightly. When an industry giant such as UPS chooses to expand its activities in Canada, it is because its leaders have confidence in our growth potential and in the future of our country. They have confidence in what we can do together, here in Canada. International companies are increasingly discovering and taking advantage of the many benefits of doing business in Canada.
There are lots of reasons why more and more international companies like UPS look to invest and expand their footprints here in Canada. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in nearly 40 years, with close to 600,000 more Canadians working today than there were just two years ago. Not to mention the Canadian economy was growing at the fastest rate of the G7 in 2017, and the OECD just further increased our growth forecast. For UPS this means more customers to serve, more businesses to partner with, and higher demand for the solutions they offer here in Canada.
Canada also has preferred access to a huge share of the global economy through our comprehensive free trade agreements, including our two most recently completed deals, CETA with Europe, and CT…CPTPP, with the growing economies of Asia which will grant us preferential market access to nearly a billion more consumers through Europe and the Asia-Pacific. We are in the process of re-negotiating, updating, and improving NAFTA. In case you hadn’t heard, it’s going well.
And we remain very confident that a win-win-win deal is not only possible but likely. Canada and the United States together have built the greatest trading relationship the world has ever seen. Today is yet another example of the strong ties between our two countries. The Canadian business environment is not only stable, but predictable. Setting up the right conditions for businesses to flourish and for workers to get ahead. And above all, Canadians are incredibly hardworking and skilled. They’re not only ready, but able to take on the good-paying, middle class jobs, and contribute to our economy. Our workforce is educated, open-minded and diverse; qualities, I know, that appeal to a company like UPS and to its ethos.
Companies like UPS know that to succeed, you need to innovate. And today’s example…announcement is an example of that drive. Along with an announcement of growth and new jobs in Canada, UPS is committing to new sustainable practice standards.
Today, UPS also announced that in the future, half of its Canadian fleet will run on alternative fuel. This new goal will help to reduce emissions produced by the company’s transportation systems. Therefore, UPS will introduce new compressed natural gas vehicles and new technologies to reduce distance and fuel consumption. Like Canadians, UPS knows that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. It is not simply a matter of on-time delivering, but of achieving this goal in a sustainable, efficient way. We share not only their concerns for the environment, but also their conviction to find concrete solutions that can be quickly implemented. Today’s announcement represents one more step in the right direction and shows the company’s commitment to making our world a greener one.
My friends, the future looks bright. Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in Canada and mostly in Canadians. In fact, it’s also the second example of foreign companies choosing Canada to expand their businesses and create jobs, this week alone. On Monday our Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, announced a nearly 400 million dollar investment in Canada by way of the Encore project that will secure 4,000 new jobs in Quebec and Ontario and maintain 2,000 more by developing the new 5G network that is going to allow companies like UPS and small businesses across the country to better coordinate through technology, and develop the kinds of Apps and infrastructure in technology that are going to serve us all for decades to come. This is proof that our plan to grow the economy and create better opportunities for Canadians is working. Companies are taking notice, and so are Canadians.
So, once again I want to thank you all for making the trip and for choosing Canada for the very first managerial conference that UPS holds every year, outside of the United States.
And we are very much looking forward to the next partner… to the next chapter in this wonderful 43-year partnership.
Thank you, friends. Thank you very much.