CADSI News Story

CANSEC 2015 Pumps $15 Million into Ottawa Economy; Defence Industry Pumps $12.6 billion into Canadian Economy

May 27, 2015, Ottawa – Canada’s premier defence trade show, CANSEC 2015, will pump more than $15 million into Ottawa’s economy, says the president of the association that organizes the annual two-day event.

“CANSEC is the largest trade show in Ottawa, bar none. The opportunities to harness its economic spin-offs, particularly in the local hospitality industry, to the benefit of the National Capital Region’s economy are huge,” said Christyn Cianfarani, president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI).

CANSEC showcases leading-edge technology, products and services for land, naval, aerospace and joint forces military units and is expected to draw 11,000 registrants from 50 countries. Registrants will have the opportunity to visit some 700 booths occupying the entire 135,000 square foot EY Centre, plus outdoor static displays.

Those statistics are a dramatic increase from a decade ago when there were no foreign delegations and the entire trade show was housed at the old Congress Centre in 26,000 square feet of space.

Cianfarani said this significant growth in the trade show lead CADSI to undertake an economic analysis of its impact on the Ottawa region. This was done by feeding data from CANSEC 2014 into Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model and employing a multiplier effect to determine that CANSEC 2014 had a $15 million impact on the economy.  CANSEC 2015 should have an even bigger impact.

The defence and security industries contribute $12.6 billion to the Canadian economy annually and employ 109,000 Canadians in jobs that pay salaries that are 60% higher than the national average.

This explains the tremendous importance placed on this event by the federal government, which is sending five important cabinet ministers to participate at the event – Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence; James Moore, Minister of Industry; Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services; Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veteran Affairs; and Michelle Rempel, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification). As well, several Members of Parliament, Senators and over 3,000 government and military officials, including Canada’s Vice Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault, are scheduled to attend.

Cianfarani emphasized need for Canadians to better understand what the defence industry in Canada actually does being predominantly focused on new technology that has both a civilian and military purpose.

“Canadian defence companies produce mostly technology-intensive goods and services, with dual civilian use.  It’s important that CADSI provides a more representative view on what the industry actually does; especially since the Canadians who work in it that I talk to are proud of what they contribute to Canada,” said Cianfarani. “Ninety-five per cent of the defence market segment is related to technologies and services and, on average, only 15 per cent of revenues earned by companies in the sector come from defence sales.”

She cited examples of how military equipment that is used to protect and support the Canadian Armed Forces overseas when they are responding to the missions Canadians ask of them. Much of this equipment is, in fact, dual use civilian products. Examples included respiration systems and other first responder equipment; shelters and water purification systems, which are used for humanitarian assistance; commercial applications for communications systems; satellite technology; and the sonar equipment that was integral to the success of last year’s historic finding of the lost Franklin expedition. 

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CADSI is the national voice of Canada’s defence and security industries, a sector that employs 109,000 Canadians and generated more than 12.6 billion dollars for our economy in 2011.


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Derek Ferguson
Dawson Ferguson Communications Inc.

Posted 2015-05-27
Last Modified 2016-04-07 14:48