Working with the new Ontario government to promote its ‘open for business’ mandate

CIAC welcomes the new Ontario government and has provided recommendations consistent with the government’s expressed mandate to make Ontario again open for business. CIAC strongly asserts that it is imperative to eliminate or reform legislation, regulations and programs which add costs to government and business and provide little or no benefit to society, the economy or the environment. Among the areas CIAC is advocating for reform include:

Ontario Toxics Reduction Act:

  • Repeal the act. Reporting requirements duplicate existing federal and provincial programs. Toxic substances are assessed and managed aggressively through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the associated Chemicals Management Plan.

Local Air Quality Standards:

  • Base regulations on science and risk-based approach that are technically sound, consistent with, but not in advance of, other leading jurisdictions, and informed by rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

Municipal Industrial Strategy for Abatement regulation:

  • Repeal the act and transfer all relevant water discharge requirements into each facilities’ Environmental Certificate of Approval to enable greater adaptability and Ministry engagement.

Excess Soils Management policy:

  • Only soil that is assessed and confirmed to be unacceptable be classified as waste and grant an exclusion for industrial facilities with existing Environmental Compliance Approvals that already manage soils and wastes from the proposed regulation.

Measures to support investment in Ontario industries:

  • Advocate for and match federal measures to:
    • Make the existing, temporary ACCA permanent as is the case in US;
    • Expand its coverage significantly to match similar depreciation treatments in US; and
    • Introduce a 100 per cent year in write down for a minimum of one full business cycle of seven years as has been introduced in the US.
  • Investment Attraction:
    • With announced elimination of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, replace the program with a targeted tax credit approach similar to other jurisdictions, including Alberta.

Buffer zones:

  • Enact regulation for buffer zones around existing industrial facilities to better support the Provincial Policy Statement which has an objective, but no mechanisms, to ensure local land use planning processes protect public health and maintain the viability of Ontario’s manufacturing heritage.

Control municipal overreach:

  • Prohibit Ontario municipalities from issuing local bans on products of commerce (e.g. straws, plastic bags etc.) and from enacting standards and regulations that impact aspects of companies and their operations which are already well-regulated under provincial authorities (e.g. Oakville Air Quality Bylaw and Toronto Sewer Use Bylaw).

Waste management:

  • Revise the Waste Free Ontario Act to include significantly increased opportunities for energy and material recovery and reuse from waste and automate existing paper-based waste manifests.

Workplace exposure limits:

  • Ensure exposure limits remain based in a sound science and risk-based approach that effectively protect worker safety and that are also informed by rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The Hill Times: CIAC responds to government’s CEPA review recommendations

Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC, was featured in the Hill Times July 9 in a story about the 87 recommendations that were put forward by the House Environment Committee in its 2017 review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Saying he was “most happy” to see the risk-based regulatory approach maintained, Mr. Masterson said CIAC opposed a change in this approach because it would assume too many chemicals are unsafe without first conducting scientific studies.

CIAC launches new site featuring improved navigation, new information and a fresh look

We are pleased to announce the launch of our newly revamped website at canadianchemistry.ca.

The new design reflects a cleaner and fresher look and the new structure improves usability. The new site features a responsive design that reads much better on mobile devices, and we have given more prominence to the latest industry news on our front page.

We have added new section highlighting CIAC’s advocacy work grouped into broad categories: transportation, environment, chemicals management, and competitiveness and trade. We have also added a section highlighting the benefits of membership.

We invite you to view the new website and let us know your thoughts. We hope that you find the new website fresher, more informative and easier to navigate.

Changements climatiques, réduction des GES, taxe carbone, SPEDE, allocations gratuities – Où en sommes-nous?

Au cours des dernières années, ces sujets ont occupé une place importante de l’agenda politique.  En effet, la lutte contre les changements climatiques est devenue le cheval de bataille des différents gouvernements, fédéral et provincial.

Cette cible de réduction de -2 degré Celsius s’est traduite par un passage obligé vers la réduction des gaz à effet de serre (GES).  Afin d’inciter les entreprises à atteindre la cible de réduction, température et GES, le Ministère du développement durable, de l’environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) a instauré une taxe sur le carbone afin d’inciter les entreprises à initier des projets de réduction des GES.  Les résultats de ces ventes aux enchères (entre le Québec et la Californie, et plus tard avec l’Ontario) par l’entremise d’un Système de plafonnement et d’échanges des droits d’émissions (SPEDE) ont permis de recueillir des sommes importantes que le gouvernement du Québec verse au Fonds Vert, fonds permettant de réaliser des projets de réduction des GES.

En parallèle, de manière à faciliter la transition des grands émetteurs de GES (25 000 tonnes et plus de GES annuel), le MDDELCC a modifié le système d’allocations gratuites en fonction du secteur d’activités et du type de production. Jusqu’à maintenant le MDDELCC a fait connaître les allocations gratuites de 2021 à 2023 mais doit prendre une décision en début 2019 pour faire connaître ces allocations gratuites de 2024 à 2030.

De nombreuses questions demeurent encore sans réponse dans ce dossier :

  • Pourquoi ne pas retourner les sommes accumulées au Fonds Vert par la taxe carbone aux émetteurs/payeurs pour réaliser des projets?
  • Comment tenir compte de la compétitivité des entreprises de notre industrie pour fixer les allocations gratuites 2024-2030?
  • Que va devenir le marché du carbone et la vente aux enchères (Québec-Californie-Ontario) avec une volonté de retrait en Ontario?
  • Que pourrait devenir le système d’échange entre le Québec et l’Ontario avec les prochaines élections provinciales au Québec?

Des dossiers à suivre pour l’ACIC.

CIAC congratulates Elysis for new carbon-free aluminum production process

Congratulations to Canadian aluminum sector leaders Alcoa, Alcana and Apple who, with the support of the Federal and Quebec Governments, have developed a new carbon-free aluminum production process that will eventually result in annual greenhouse gas reductions of more than six million tons in Canada alone.

“The process relies upon decades of research in totally new chemical reactions from those associated with carbon-based production methods,” said Vincent Christ, CEO of Elysis, the new joint venture.

This success illustrates that by working together, the resource, manufacturing and chemistry sectors can point the way to a more sustainable future while growing the economy, here in Canada, while at the same time reducing emissions. The new venture will be in Quebec and export the technology throughout the rest of the world.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum Smelting Process

$558 million investment project will create and maintain thousands of jobs in Canada

Advocating for modernized excess soil management regulations in Ontario to achieve beneficial use without affecting economic opportunities

Reinforcing competitiveness and cluster strengths to Ontario Progressive Conservative MPPs

On May 2, CIAC and Canadian Fuels Association met with local Ontario Progressive Conservative MPPs Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) and Monte McNaughton (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex and Critic for Economic Development and Growth) to reinforce competitiveness and the strength of the integrated refining and chemistry sector in Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario.

In the lead up to the June 7, provincial election, CIAC has been active with elected and government officials to provide input to assist in the development of public policy that improves Ontario’s competitiveness and supports more investment while maintaining robust environmental, health and safety requirements and other public interest protections.

CIAC appears before Senate Committee studying Bill C-74 to discuss carbon-pricing legislation

Isabelle Des Chênes, CIAC Executive Vice-President, and Shannon Watt, Director of Environment and Health Policy, appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on May 3, 2018. Senators are conducting a pre-study of the provisions of Bill C-74, the budget implementation bill, that deal with the government’s plan to price greenhouse gas emissions.

CIAC and its members support efforts to reduce global carbon emissions and have worked collaboratively with both provincial and federal officials to ensure that carbon policies and pricing mechanisms improve environmental performance, avoid double-regulation and maintain Canada’s competitiveness.

Ms. Des Chênes noted that “Canada should support a carbon policy that recognizes emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors and encourages investments in the Canadian chemistry sector. Additionally, given the incredible investments in innovations and technologies to improve performance around air emissions and climate change, Canada’s proposed output-based allocation process should focus on benchmarking Canadian chemistry operations and performance against global competitors.”

Additionally, Ms. Watt reinforced the point that government needs to provide a comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of the suite of climate change policies including the proposed Clean Fuel Standard.

Watch the CPAC recording: Fuel Suppliers Discuss the Carbon Tax

Panelists discuss Canada’s low carbon future at the Industrial Gas Users Association’s Spring Seminar

CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson gave a brief overview of chemistry’s role in Canada’s transition to the low-carbon energy future at a panel for the Industrial Gas Users Association Spring Seminar in Montebello, Quebec on Tuesday, May 15.

The topic of the seminar panel was Heavy Industry is Necessary in Canada’s Low Carbon Future. Speakers touched on topics such as the Paris Accord, the Pan-Canadian Framework, as well as near-term and long-term targets.

“Demand for chemistry products are forecast to triple in the next 20 years. And it isn’t hard to see why: the products our members make enable our modern, more sustainable way of life,” Mr. Masterson told the crowd.

“We all need sound policies from our government that encourage growth while meeting the needs of our global commitments to sustainability. The world truly needs more good chemistry – made-in-Canada chemistry – to meet our low-carbon goals.”

The invitation only, two-day event included key natural gas stakeholders including users, pipelines and utilities, marketers, regulators and policy makers. Other participants in the panel discussion included the Mining Association of Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

CIAC comments on draft regulations related to the Environment Quality Act (French only)

Au cours de l’année 2016, le Gouvernement du Québec a publié le Livre Vert ayant pour objectif de moderniser le régime d’autorisation environnementale.  À ce moment, l’ACIC avait présenté un premier mémoire.  De là est né la nouvelle Loi sur la Qualité de l’environnement (LQE), adopté le 23 mars 2017 et mise en vigueur le 23 mars 2018.

Dès l’automne 2017, le Ministère du développement durable, de l’environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) a mis à jour vingt-deux (22) projets de règlements pour assurer la cohérence avec la nouvelle loi.  Des journées de consultation ont été organisées auprès des différents groupes d’intérêts, des associations sectorielles et des entreprises pour obtenir leurs commentaires.  En collaboration avec le Conseil Patronal de l’environnement du Québec, l’ACIC, avec la précieuse collaboration de ses compagnies membres, a amorcé la rédaction de mémoires pour ces projets de règlements.  En priorité, l’ACIC a présenté un mémoire en collaboration avec le CPEQ quant aux mesures transitoires à mettre en place dans le cadre de la nouvelle loi et a présenté trois mémoires afin de présenter des commentaires spécifiques à ses opérations.  Les trois (3) mémoires présentés visaient les projets de règlements suivants :

  • Projet de règlement relatif à l’évaluation et à l’examen des impacts sur l’environnement de certains projets ;
  • Projet de règlement relatif à l’autorisation ministérielle et à la déclaration de conformité en matière environnementale ;
  • Règlement modifiant le Règlement sur les attestations d’assainissement en milieu industriel.

D’autres projets de règlements on fait l’objet d’analyse mais n’ont pas fait l’objet de mémoires considérant leur absence d’impact sur les opérations de notre industrie.

Tout au long de la rédaction de ces mémoires les objectifs de l’ACIC étaient :

  • Assurer la compétitivité de notre industrie chimique au Québec ;
  • Favoriser la simplification du régime environnemental ;
  • Assurer l’utilisation efficiente des ressources en environnement de nos entreprises et du gouvernement ;
  • Assurer la valeur ajoutée des demandes du ministère de l’environnement aux activités d’amélioration du développement durable.

Un travail de collégialité ayant permis de servir les intérêts de nos compagnies membres.