Pre-Budget Consultations: Ontario must act to ensure industry investment

There is a wave of chemistry facility investment taking place globally and Ontario could see an infusion of investment, jobs and tax revenue, but it must improve its competitiveness, Don Fusco, Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario told the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs as part of its Pre-Budget Consultations for the Ontario 2019-20 Budget on February 7, 2019.

Mr. Fusco pointed out that there is a wave of new chemistry investments being made in the North America driven by the low carbon shale gas phenomenon. The U.S. has seen over 320 new global-scale chemistry investments completed, under construction or announced with a cumulative total of more than $250 billion – of which 60 per cent is foreign direct investment.

“But what about Ontario? NOVA Chemicals’ is making a $2 billion investment to expand its operations in Sarnia. This project is the second biggest manufacturing investment made in Ontario in a century,” Mr. Fusco told the committee. “However, had we kept our historical share of new investments, we could have realized another eight global scale investments worth more than $10 billion.”

Mr. Fusco urged the government to maintain their focus on competitiveness and investment attraction through tax credit measures (as has recently been done in Alberta and other jurisdictions), continue their Open for Business Action Plan of modernizing and streamlining regulations, improving electricity costs, and capitalizing on potential innovation surrounding plastic waste and the circular economy.

TRANSCAER® members and partners ensure the Safety Train makes it home

On January 22, Joe Caponio of ERCO Worldwide put a call out to the Ontario Regional TRANSCAER® Committee for help in getting the beloved Safety Train, the CCPX 911, to its new home at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) at Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario.

While the CCPX 911 can no longer tour across the country each year as a premier training tool at TRANSCAER outreach events, the car’s one-of-a-kind design will continue to be leveraged to instruct first responders at FESTI on how to prepare for and respond to transportation incidents involving dangerous goods.

Due to an irreparable crack on the body of the car, it was retired in early 2018 and is no longer able to travel on the rails. After many months of problem-solving, planning and organizing, Mr. Caponio and FESTI Fire Chief and Instructor David Clarke worked together to come up with an alternate transportation solution to move the CCPX 911 from Windsor to Mississauga. The CCPX 911 will make the journey secured to a semi-trailer truck and transported to FESTI by road.

Only four days after of Mr. Caponio’s announcement, several CIAC members and TRANSCAER partners pitched in more than enough funds to relocate the Safety Train. Phil Bott, Division Chief at FESTI, was grateful for CIAC’s members’ immediate action and their willingness to support the Safety Train’s new life, stating: “Your work is greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten.”

This is another great example of Responsible Care® in action. A big thank you to all those that helped make it happen!

  • National Silicates
  • Blachford
  • GFL
  • Seaboard Transport
  • ERCO Worldwide
  • BASF
  • Harold Marcus Ltd
  • ERAC
  • CIAC

Regulation in serious need of modernization, CIAC tells INDU

Canada’s regulatory system often results in inefficiency, delays, administrative burdens and unnecessary costs to both government and business, CIAC President and CEO, Bob Masterson, told the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) February 7.

The comments were provided as part of a study on regulatory modernization in response to the Federal Fall Economic Statement in November.

Mr. Masterson targeted regulatory overlap and duplication, rushed regulation that does not take industry’s perspectives for achieving goals, uncertainty and timeliness in his speech to the Committee.

“Obtaining an approval in Canada takes an average of 249 days, about double the OECD average and triple the time required in the United States. Make no mistake, this reality is well-known globally and is a strong influencer on Canada’s foreign direct investment gap,” he said. “The study being undertaken by this committee is welcome and urgently overdue.”

He pointed to the implementation of the Chemicals Management Plan and Transport Canada’s multi-faceted approach to better managing risks associated with the transportation of dangerous goods as great examples of regulatory initiatives working well in Canada. He also noted that the Ontario government had started important efforts in this area with its comprehensive Red Tape Challenge recommendations beginning to be implemented by the current government.

Tackling climate change needs chemistry, CIAC tells Sixth Estate panel

The chemistry sector is uniquely qualified to help tackle the global issue of climate change, Bob Masterson President and CEO of CIAC, told a panel discussion on climate change In Ottawa January 31.

Pictured: Catherine Clark and CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson

The Climate Change and the Environment panel, organized by the Sixth Estate News online broadcaster, also included leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Sean Fraser; and the vice-president of federal affairs for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Craig Stewart. It was moderated by Catherine Clark.

David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data also provided interesting findings showing that the majority of Canadians think climate change is an important problem and that they didn’t know which political party was best suited to tackle the problem.

“Chemistry is a key driver to sustainability and Canada has a low carbon feedstock making us carbon-advantaged over other jurisdictions that use coal,” said Mr. Masterson. “So how do we make these changes happen faster? Price the things you don’t want – like carbon, GHGs – and reward the things you do want – like jobs and growth.”

Ms. May even jumped in to support Mr. Masterson’s comments on the U.N. Kigali Accord, which came out of the Montreal Protocol in the 1980’s, starting in 2019, new refrigerants from the chemistry sector will avoid 0.5 C of global temperature increases, making them the single largest contributor to addressing climate change to date.

“We can, when we seek to do it, make real change,” Ms. May told the panel. “Like the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer in the late ‘80s, we can take the same approach with climate change. We have to talk about our success stories.”

Other panelists included Dale Marshall, national program manager at Environmental Defence, Rachel Curran, principal at Harper and Associates and Velma McColl, managing principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, in a segment hosted by Global News Chief Political Correspondent David Akin.

Watch the recording or read a full rundown of the panel discussion.
Read Bob Masterson’s opinion piece Chemistry: Essential to Canada’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future

AIHA sets record attendance with annual Stakeholder Event

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) hosted its annual Stakeholder Event on Thursday, January 17 in Edmonton. CIAC was in attendance and was one of many event sponsors. Attendees heard industry updates from several companies building and operating in the region including CIAC’s newest member – Inter Pipeline and their Heartland Petrochemical Complex currently under construction. The event was attended by the Premier, Members of her Cabinet and Caucus, as well as members of the Official Opposition. The Premier reaffirmed the Alberta government’s focus on diversifying province’s economy through resource value add manufacturing and upgrading.

Mark Eramo, Vice President of Global Business Development for Oil, Midstream, Downstream & Chemical at IHS Markit was the feature speaker and focused his remarks on the state of the global chemical industry. Points of interest to the chemistry industry in Canada include:

  • High crude prices and low-cost natural gas attracting North American chemical investments;
  • China and US investment continues at rapid pace, with modest growth in other regions;
  • Chemical Industry in a prolonged peak earnings cycle with potential risks for the mid-2020s as current strong margins in gas-based chemistry drive new investment with the potential for global economic slowdown and reduced demand;
  • Decline in demand for refined products will see a shift in crude to chemicals with new refinery configurations and technology producing larger quantities of chemicals in greater scale;
  • Sustainability issues for sector remain focused on carbon, however water and plastic will continue to be priority issues for the industry.

This year’s Stakeholder Event was the largest yet for AIHA with over 1,000 people in attendance. CIAC congratulates AIHA on once again raising the bar on stakeholder engagement.

Canadian resource sector coalition encourages federal government to make changes to Bill C-69

A coalition of Canadian resource sector groups are voicing their concerns about a new bill, now with the Senate, that they say will add red tape, increase costs, and increase delays to natural resource project approvals, which could drive investment and jobs out of Canada.

In 2018, the federal government introduced Bill C-69 to impose new environmental assessment measures on Canada’s resource sector (mining, oil and natural gas), transportation, manufacturing, chemistry and petrochemicals, trades and labour, electricity and a host of other sectors.

The bill proposes to replace the National Energy Board with a new agency that is tasked with assessing energy projects with no hard timelines at important stages of a project’s review and introduces more red tape, which could hold up project approvals.

“This will have a debilitating impact on Canada’s economy and deterring Canada’s ability to provide product to global markets,” said Diana Arajs, spokesperson for the Save Canadian Jobs coalition. “Bill C-69 has now been passed by the House of Commons and is before the Senate. The Senate is the last chance to make the significant changes that are needed.”

Interested and affected parties are encouraged to sign up to the campaign at www.savecanadianjobs.com. The site offers a host of tips for taking action such as contacting Members of Parliament and Senators with customizable emails and other resources.