CIAC members meet with three key federal ministers to discuss rail transport issues

On December 6 in Ottawa, several CIAC members, CIAC Director of Transportation, Kara Edwards, and three federal ministers met through Transport Canada’s Commodity Supply Chain Table to discuss the chemistry sector’s experience and views related to the national transportation network.

In attendance were Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi and Minister of Agriculture, Lawrence MacAulay.

Representatives stressed to the ministers the importance of maintaining a commodity-neutral perspective while working to find solutions to rail service issues. They also pointed out that with an increase in investment in the sector expected thanks to the positive support in the federal government’s fall economic statement, additional rail network capacity will be needed to move these new goods to market. Other areas of importance included continued support for the National Trade Corridor Fund and support for the new data becoming available from the Transportation Modernization Act. The first weekly reporting of metrics through the Act began on December 10 and can be accesses here.

Additionally, recent CIAC survey results were shared at the forum, highlighting how members in Western Canada are currently experiencing very challenging shipping conditions. Our industry noted the need to work collaboratively with all stakeholders throughout the commodity supply chain to best use resources to get products to market in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner.

The CIAC Rail Committee will continue to be the main venue to engage key stakeholders in this area and CIAC will be working with Transport Canada to better track our industry’s performance within the Canadian system going forward. For more information please reach out to Kara Edwards.

Finance Committee report on pre-budget consultations a win for chemistry industry

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s report on the pre-budget consultations was released December 10, and includes a number of recommendations directly responsive to CIAC’s requests. Of note is Recommendation 9 (page 40) to, “Work with all other levels of government to align and coordinate efforts to create a competitive investment climate across Canada to attract world-class value-added petrochemical facilities.”

This success is a result of eight months of CIAC engagement with Finance Committee members, which included CIAC’s 2019 Federal Pre-budget Consultation submission and testifying at the pre-budget consultation hearings in October.

Read the full report here.

Industry, government and consumers all play a key role in the circular economy

CIAC and CPIA sponsor a lively discussion on getting to zero plastic waste

In front of a packed house of approximately 70 people at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa CIAC and CPIA held a lively discussion with the Sixth Estate on Breaking the mold: getting to zero plastic waste on December 11.

CIAC’s Executive Vice President, Isabelle Des Chênes, opened the discussion up by framing the issue and giving a brief presentation on the broad issues at play including the benefits of plastic, Canadians’ perceptions on plastic waste and what industry can do to support solutions. “The public in Canada have been up in arms on this subject and rightly so. As manufacturers of plastic resin and plastics, we need to work with governments to educate the public about plastics’ benefits to society and the environment,” said Des Chênes.

Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe, then spoke about what his organization is doing to raise public awareness of the issue of plastic waste and bringing different stakeholders together to discuss solutions.

The Director of Government Relations at NOVA Chemicals, Ken Faulkner, then outlined the work that manufacturers are doing to tackle this issue, such as innovating to make plastic packaging fully recyclable and working with non-profit partners to improve infrastructure to reduce marine plastic debris in Southeast Asia.

Ryan L’Abbe, Vice President Operations, GreenMantra Technologies, brought the important element of innovation to create end markets for recycled products. He pointed out that due to a lack of supply in Canada, his company actually imports materials from the U.S. to have enough post-consumer plastic to recycle into products like asphalt and roof shingles.

Rounding out the discussion, Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change then spoke on the Federal government’s recent efforts to create a framework for a national strategy of reducing plastic waste and what needs to happen in the near and long-term future to tackle the issue.

Watch a full recording of the panel discussion on the Sixth Estate Facebook Live page here.

Federal government signals its commitment to ensuring Canada’s competitiveness in Fall Economic Statement