President’s Message


Chemistry industry needs federal engagement to win investment projects

As the Liberal government looks to attract considerably higher rates of foreign investment into innovative sectors with high growth prospects, more attention needs to be paid to Canada’s chemistry sector. Currently, there are more than $12 billion in investments representing four global scale chemistry projects awaiting decision by year’s end that would create hundreds of jobs, drive economic growth, and help the government reach its environmental targets. But, without the direct involvement of the federal government, Canada risks losing out on these, and future, foreign investment opportunities.

Globally, chemistry is a large, fast growing industry. In Canada, it is the fourth largest manufacturing sector with over $55 billion in annual shipments.  Structured in highly efficient and consolidated clusters in areas like Sarnia, Ontario and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, the sector adds significant value to Canada’s energy and agricultural resources

–– Bob Masterson, CIAC's President and CEO

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Blog Archive

Recent Entries

Chemistry industry needs federal engagement to win investment projects

A Trump presidency could mean anything but “business as usual’ for Canada’s chemistry industry

Canada Needs More Chemistry

Chemistry: solutions provider to the climate challenge

Government needs to stay the course on chemicals management

Chemistry industry needs federal engagement to win investment projects

As the Liberal government looks to attract considerably higher rates of foreign investment into innovative sectors with high growth prospects, more attention needs to be paid to Canada’s chemistry sector. Currently, there are more than $12 billion in investments representing four global scale chemistry projects awaiting decision by year’s end that would create hundreds of jobs, drive economic growth, and help the government reach its environmental targets. But, without the direct involvement of the federal government, Canada risks losing out on these, and future, foreign investment opportunities.

Globally, chemistry is a large, fast growing industry. In Canada, it is the fourth largest manufacturing sector with over $55 billion in annual shipments.  Structured in highly efficient and consolidated clusters in areas like Sarnia, Ontario and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, the sector adds significant value to Canada’s energy and agricultural resources

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A Trump presidency could mean anything but “business as usual’ for Canada’s chemistry industry

Since the stunning results of the U.S. election, I’ve been asked a number of times: “What affect do you think the Trump presidency will have on Canada’s chemistry industry and the broader Canadian economy?”

The easy answer, of course is that its too early to tell.  And yet, the one thing we can say with some certainty is that the “business as usual” we are accustomed to, is unlikely to prevail.

Trump’s ‘no apologies’, ‘America first’ approach that has been the hall mark of his campaign and transition has raised expectations that the tepid economic growth over much of the past decade may give way to a renewed and more robust expansion in manufacturing sectors.

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Canada Needs More Chemistry

Bold leadership is needed to attract and win new investments 

The flurry of consultations by various departments over the past summer was a clear indication that the Government of Canada is focussing on low carbon, innovative, economic growth.

An effective innovation strategy should foster the development of products, services and industries that can best capitalize on the natural resources and talent that already exist in our country. The chemistry industry is well positioned to deliver on these expectations, if Canada can build and maintain a competitive, long-term investment environment.

Written off as a mature industry decades ago, North America’s chemistry industry has experienced a dramatic resurgence following the advent of abundant, low-carbon feedstock associated with the shale gas revolution. Today, more than 270 projects are being tracked totalling over $250 billion in new investments, with more than 600 additional investments in the downstream plastics sector. This makes chemistry the fastest growing manufacturing sector in North America and the poster child for reshoring manufacturing.

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Chemistry: solutions provider to the climate challenge

The Ontario and Alberta government’s recent announcements related to provincial climate change plans send clear signals that the climate challenge cannot be addressed solely through their respective cap and trade or current regulatory programs. CIAC member-companies couldn’t agree more.
Chemical manufacturing is often referred to as the invisible sector, and this is certainly reflected in the way policy makers currently view the industry and climate change.  But, that needs to change.

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