Industrial containers with the Canadian, American, and Mexican flags representing the Canada, United States, Mexico Agreement.

Government Ratifies CUSMA

As one of its final acts prior to the government suspending parliament due to the current pandemic, MPs from all parties voted to ratify the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on Friday, March 13.

According to Reuters, the House of Commons agreed to instant approval on Friday after opposition MPs dropped their objections. The upper Senate chamber backed the pact later in the day.

CIAC recognizes the efforts that went into ratifying this important legislation, especially during this difficult time where co-operation between nations will be crucial to rebuilding the North American economy.

The chemistry industry is one of the most internationally traded sectors in the world, with CUSMA partners having traded approximately $70 billion worth of chemistry products in 2018 according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

A strong and open trading relationship with our North American neighbours is the cornerstone of Canada’s economy and for the continued success of the chemistry sector. The trilateral trade agreement between the three countries will help attract investment and continue to develop an efficient, highly integrated chemicals supply chain across North America.

Quebec – Provincial Budget Focusing on Green Economy

Éric Girard, Quebec’s Minister of Finance, delivered the second budget speech of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government on March 10This budget reflects the government’s focus on making the turn to a green economy by launching a major 10-year projectThe themes of electrification, the fight against climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) were prominent and confirm the upholding of Quebec’s 2020 GHG emission reduction targets (37.5% reduction)These goals will be reflected in the upcoming “Electrification and Climate Change Policy Framework”. 

For the industrial sector, this green economy means concrete action to support businesses in the fight against climate change. In fact, more than $1.3 billion will be allocated to the continuation of the EcoPerformance program. Quebec holds an exemplary place in North America with lower per-capita GHG emissions than other Canadian provinces and 50 U.S. states… a ranking that Quebec wants to keep. 

The first implementation plan for this policy framework will be financially supported with $6.2B by 2026. To the $4.2B in total carbon market revenues expected, the government is increasing the plan by $2.1B in additional credits, an effort that is twice the size of the 2013-2020 action plan on climate change. 

Priority on Electrification 

  • Strong engagement to achieve electrification of the economy by prioritizing transportation.
  • By 2030, the transportation sector alone will account for 57% of the economy-wideGHG reduction potential… 70% of the resources allocated to the implementation plan are devoted to transportation. 
  • $1.4M for the Drive Green program through rebates for the acquisition of electric vehicles and the installation of charging stations.
  • $15.8M for mass transit in the 2020-2030 plan.
  • Continuation of the Heating with Green Power program (switching from natural gas to electricity).
  • Building a green economy also means helping to decarbonize the industrial sector with resources of nearly $1.3B by March 2026.
  • More than $1B by 2024-2025 to improve business productivity and competitiveness.
  • A new innovationtax credit (C3i). Businesses in all industries will benefit from a tax credit of 10, 15 or 20% of their purchases of manufacturing and processing equipment, computer equipment and management software ($526M over 5 years). 
  • Over $300M for innovation and marketing by 2024-2025.
  • An action plan for foreign investment and export growth (a $100M foreign investment and export growth action plan by 2024-2025).
  • Enhancement of the St. Lawrence, with a new maritime vision for Quebec to make the St. Lawrence a successful and intelligent economic corridor and the reclaiming of our river ($172M by 2024-2025).

Over the coming months, the parameters for these funding programs will be known and shared with our association’s members. 


Blurred health professional holding up a stethoscope with "COVID-19" inscription on foreground.

COVID-19 Update

Regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the safety of CIAC Member employees, contractors and the communities in which we do business continue to be our member’s number one priority.
CIAC member companies have business continuity plans in place and are prepared to deal effectively with disruptions affecting their business operations. We are following the advice and direction of public health authorities to limit the impact of COVID-19 and help support the health and well-being of our employees and the safe operation of our facilities.
While each of our member companies implement actions and strategies unique to their own individual organizations, actions taken to date fall under the following broad categories:
  • Follow best practices laid out by government and health authorities
  • Restrict all non-essential domestic and international travel
  •  Work from home strategies (where appropriate) and limiting non-essential visits to operating facilities
  • Self-isolation for anyone who has returned from an international trip
  • Avoid large gatherings of people and practice social distancing including internal meetings of staff
As of today, we are not aware of any material impacts to member operations or supply chains.
CIAC offices are closed until further notice. Staff are equipped to work from home, and we will continue to engage with our members and government on priority issues to the best of our ability.
We will continue to communicate and provide any updates as the situation evolves.

2020 Alberta Budget

CIAC was invited to participate in the Budget Lockup in advance of the Finance Minister presenting the 2020 Alberta Budget. The government has pivoted to a strategy of getting Albertans back to work. The goal is to not simply maintain a path to fiscal balance, but also focus on kick-starting economic growth due to a stagnant economy in 2019.

The 2020 Alberta Budget is comprehensive and includes many aspects that will affect the chemistry sector and Albertans as a whole. On the outset, the deficit is projected to be $1.2 billion lower than projected in the 2019 Budget.

For 2020, there is a continued focus on eliminating the deficit by 2022 with a modest 3 per cent reduction in operational spending. The government is focused on what they can control: creating an attractive business environment and modest restraint in spending. Deficit elimination remains largely dependent on tax and royalty revenue growth in future years.

  • 2019/20 $7.5 billion forecast deficit
  • 2020/21 $6.8 billion targeted deficit
  • 2021/22 $2.7 billion targeted deficit
  • 2022/23 $700 million targeted surplus

Key Budget Elements Affecting Chemistry in Alberta

  • Alberta now has a 10 per cent corporate tax rate, down 12 per cent since the government took office in May 2019. This is the lowest rate in Canada and, when they reach 8 per cent in 2022, will be one of the lowest in North America.
  • Modernizing Alberta’s regulatory environment to reduce the burden on job creators.
  • The government intends to highlight Alberta’s best-in-class environmental, social, and governance credentials. There is an opportunity for the chemistry industry to highlight Responsible Care in the value-added chemical manufacturing sector.
  • Alberta will focus on investments and exports, and promoting the province globally to attract more business investment to Alberta
    • Highlighting significant growth potential of downstream value-added petrochemical manufacturing with a continued commitment to Petrochemicals Diversification Program to build off low-cost feedstocks, talented workforce, and essential infrastructure.
    • Development of an Investment and Growth Strategy focused on areas of comparative economic advantage in resource-based industries supported by $75 million over three years.
    • While yet to be finalized, the establishment of a quasi-government agency to lead investment attraction in key global financial centres.
  • Blueprint for Jobs – Focus on Skills Training
    • Expanding skilled trades remains a focus.
    • Specific focus on new tools and program supports to increase Class 1 drivers.

CIAC will seize opportunities by:

  • Supporting and pursuing regional, national, and international investment in the petrochemical sector to catalyze new construction and long-term, high-paying jobs for Albertans.
  • Securing additional investment in Alberta’s petrochemical and value-added sectors, including through maintenance of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program. Petrochemicals represent a significant growth opportunity for Alberta.

Read the Alberta Budget here

Ontario Chemistry Day 2020 Shines Spotlight on Chemistry Sector, Leads to Special Advisor Role in Provincial Cabinet

 CIAC held its inaugural Ontario Chemistry Day on February 19, 2020, welcoming over 60 industry and government delegates to the Toronto Hilton (downtown). The event was aimed at building dialogue on common issues, better understand industry and government positions, and get to know new participants, both in industry and government.   

Special thanks to all the elected members and officials from the provincial government that attended, including Bob Bailey, MPP Sarnia-Lambton; Deepak Anand, MPP Mississauga-Malton; Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP Mississauga-Lakeshore; Jim McDonell, MPP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry / PA – Municipal Affairs; Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing / MPP Leeds-Grenville; and Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister, Red Tape Reduction. 

The event featured addresses by key Ministers from the Ontario government, panel discussions on the Enabling the Circular Economy to Manage Plastic Waste and Attracting New Petrochemical Investments – Learning from Alberta’s success and a keynote presentation on risk communications by recognized expert Dan Gardner. 

With the success of the 2020 Ontario Chemistry Day, plans are already being made for next year’s event.  Stay tuned for details. 

Hon. Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks offered welcoming remarks to kick off the event. Minister Yurek reinforced the value of the chemistry sector and the government’s focus to balance a healthy environment with a growing economy.


The Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction reinforced the value of the chemistry sector to Ontario’s economy and highlighted key red tape reduction measures the government has taken.


Isabelle Des Chenes, CIAC Executive Vice President, moderated the Enabling the Circular Economy to Manage Plastic Waste panel in which panellists shared their perspectives on how we can enable a circular economy for plastics to achieve a zero plastic waste future. Sharing their perspectives were Chris Hilkene, President and CEO, Pollution Probe; Sarah Marshall, Director of Sustainability, NOVA Chemicals; and Alison Pilla, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Policy Division, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.


Don Fusco, Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario moderated the second panel: Attracting New Petrochemical Investments – Learning From Alberta’s Success.  The panel discussion explored the state of the petrochemical investment activity in North America and highlighted the drivers that have enabled Alberta attract $12 billion in new investments and an anticipated $20 billion in additional investments in the near future.   Panel participants included: Allan Fogwill, President and CEO, Canadian Energy Research Institute, Mark Plamandon, Executive Director, Alberta Industrial Heartland, Matthew Slotwinski,Senior Investment Advisor, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Marcelo Lu, President, BASF Canada and Trevor Dauphinee, Assistant Deputy Minister, Industries and Sectors Strategy Division, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.


Newly announced as the Special Advisor to the Premier and Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, MPP Deepak Anand (Mississauga-Malton) addresses the delegates at Ontario Chemistry Day 2020.


Following Ontario Chemistry Day 2020 was CIAC’s February 20, 2020 Board of Directors Meeting. CIAC was delighted to host a special keynote address by the Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Globe 2020 Business Summit

The Globe 2020 Summit took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre from Feb. 10–13. The largest and longest-running sustainable business summit and innovation showcase in North America saw thousands of delegates attend the conference.

CIAC and its members were sponsors and active participants of the conference where they focused on reducing and eliminating plastic waste and how to develop a circular economy for plastics.

NOVA Chemicals, Interpipeline, BASF, DOW, and Pyrowave all took part in the Innovation Showcase where they spoke to attendees about their projects and initiatives that are helping make a circular economy for plastics possible.

CIAC hosted a panel presentation entitled Industry and Innovation: How to get to zero plastic waste. Panelists discussed the tangible steps industry is taking and needs to take in order to get to the ultimate goal of eliminating plastic waste. The discussion explored innovations, industry efforts to address ocean plastic waste in developing countries and creating opportunities for developed countries to meaningfully achieve zero plastic waste.

Thanks to our panelists for taking part in this important discussion. Panelists included: Marcelo Lu (BASF Canada), Sarah Marshall (NOVA Chemicals), Ron Soreano (Coca-Cola), Jocelyn Doucet (Pyrowave), Christina Seidel (Recycling Council of Alberta).

Lastly, CIAC hosted a roundtable discussion: Building Markets to Enable a Circular Economy for Plastics. The roundtable brought together experts and key stakeholders in the post-consumer plastics space. Participants broke out into three groups: the supply-side, the demand-side, and policy and regulatory considerations. Each group explored the barriers of developing a functional post-consumer plastics market.

It was a packed house for CIAC’s panel discussion on how to get to zero plastic waste.

CICA’s Shannon Watt asked question to the panel and moderated the discussion

– The panel was made up of key stakeholders, including Marcelo Lu (BASF Canada), Sarah Marshall (NOVA Chemicals), Ron Soreano (Coca-Cola), Jocelyn Doucet (Pyrowave), Christina Seidel (Recycling Council of Alberta).

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada and Canadian Plastics Industry Association join forces, lead the way to eliminate plastic waste

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) have agreed to a transaction that will see the dissolution of the CPIA, and a new Plastics Division created under the CIAC banner.

The decision follows an extensive due diligence process that determined the CIAC and CPIA have complementary strengths and committed members, but that the challenges for plastics require even greater collaboration.

“We understand that plastics are a vital part of the Canadian economy and everyday lives, but plastic waste doesn’t belong in the environment,” said Ed Bechberger, Chair of the CIAC Board of Directors and President of ERCO Worldwide. “As an industry, we’re dedicated to innovation and investment in product design and to the responsible management and reduction of plastic waste. This transaction will provide a balanced approach to plastics and its value to society.”

“We’re excited to move forward with this transaction because the combination of the two organizations will deliver a stronger, clearer and more unified voice for plastics at a time when unity is needed by the industry to educate Canadians and different levels of government on the value of plastics and policy alternatives to product bans,” added Joel Rudolph, Chair of the CPIA Board of Directors and Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Farnell Packaging.

By combining forces, the new entity will promote responsible plastic production in Canada and work toward reducing and eliminating plastic waste from the environment, all in support of a robust Canadian economy.

CPIA and CIAC conducted special meetings of their members to vote on the transfer of assets from CPIA to CIAC and the associated bylaw changes for both organizations to form a new Plastics Division. Members from both organizations ratified the transaction unanimously.

Details of the transition and dissolution of CPIA will be released in the next few months.

Canada’s chemistry sector commits to enhancing engagement with Indigenous communities

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) has updated its United Nations-recognized Responsible Care® Codes for 2020 to include new commitments for Canada’s leading chemical companies to engage Indigenous communities through proactive and formal processes.

While developing the codes, the CIAC engaged with Indigenous communities and their leaders, and these new commitments for CIAC members will taking effect this month.

CIAC members’ efforts to meet these important commitments will be assessed during their obligatory Responsible Care verification process, which is undertaken regularly by third parties with results made available to the public on CIAC’s website.

“Since the beginning of Responsible Care in 1985, CIAC members have been obligated to be accountable and responsive to the public, especially local communities who have the right to understand the risks and benefits of what they do,” said Bob Masterson, CIAC President and CEO. “In extending that obligation to specifically include Indigenous communities, Canada’s chemistry sector demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Responsible Care and its ability to be responsive to evolving societal expectations for the industry.”

Responsible Care commitments require CIAC member companies to:

  • Engage with Indigenous People in a manner that respects their unique history, culture and rights;
  • Provide appropriate supports to ensure Indigenous communities have the capacity to engage the company in a meaningful manner; and
  • Provide Indigenous communities with equitable access to employment, contracting and business opportunities.

For more than 30 years, Canada’s chemistry sector has led the journey towards safe, responsible and sustainable chemical manufacturing through its U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative, Responsible Care. Founded in Canada in 1985, Responsible Care is now practised in 73 countries and by 96 of the 100 largest chemical producers in the world. All CIAC members commit to and are publicly verified to the Responsible Care Ethics and Principles for Sustainability and the Responsible Care Codes, which cover all aspects of the company’s business and product lifecycle.

For more information on Responsible Care, visit our website



Responsible Care® Indigenous Communities Code Elements

Responsible Care is the flagship program of the chemistry industry that ensures CIAC members innovate for safer and greener products and processes, and work to continuously improve their environmental, health and safety performance.  Launched in Canada in 1985 (and now adopted in 73 countries and recognized by the United Nations) CIAC member-companies strive to “do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing.”  This is our commitment to sustainability – delivering results for the betterment of society, the environment, and the economy.

Responsible Care® Ethics and Principles

The Ethics and Principles for Sustainability are the bedrock of Responsible Care. Commitment to these ethics and principles is a condition of CIAC membership and extends through to our transportation and service company partners.

Responsible Care is driven by the following core ethics and principles:

  • Work for the improvement of people’s lives and the environment, while striving to do no harm;
  • Be accountable and responsive to the public, especially our local communities, who have the right to understand the risks and benefits of what we do;
  • Take preventative action to protect health and the environment;
  • Innovate for safer products and processes that conserve resources and provide enhanced value;
  • Engage with our business partners to ensure the stewardship and security of our products, services and raw materials throughout their lifecycles;
  • Understand and meet expectations for social responsibility;
  • Work with all stakeholders for public policy and standards that enhance sustainability, act to advance legal requirements and meet or exceed their letter and spirit;
  • Promote awareness of Responsible Care and inspire others to commit to these principles.

Responsible Care® Codes

The Responsible Care Codes influence the decisions our member-companies make every day.  The most senior executive of each CIAC member-company must renew his or her corporate commitment to these principles annually, and this corporate commitment is put into practice through the implementation of a robust management system that drives continuous improvement towards meeting the Responsible Care codes.

Responsible Care is guided by 152 codes of practice covering Operations, Stewardship and Accountability, as described below:

  • Operations Codes: outline how Responsible Care companies should manage their facilities and equipment to ensure that they’re operated in a safe and responsible way. Companies must work to continuously improve the environmental performance of their facilities and processes and reduce their resource consumption.
  • Stewardship Codes: outline how companies must regularly review the value, impact and safety of the products that they make, and the services and technologies that they use. They must also work with their business partners – suppliers, distributors, transporters and customers – to ensure the stewardship and security of their products over their entire life cycle
  • Accountability Codes: outline how companies communicate the risks and benefits of their operations to those who live beside their plants, or in communities along transportation corridors, as well as to other stakeholders, and to work to address any concerns that they may have.

As of January 2020, new codes have been added to the Responsible Care program to formally address Indigenous community engagement within the program.  The new codes supplement the existing Responsible Care’s Accountability Code requirements to encourage proactive engagement, effective and timely communications and dialogue respecting unique history, culture and rights and seek equitable access for employment and contracting opportunities.  The new codes are detailed below:

Indigenous Communities Codes

This section refers to Indigenous Communities that are located in the area near a company-owned or leased production facility.

Engagement with such Indigenous Communities shall be undertaken with respect for their unique history, culture and rights.

The company is expected to identify those aspects of the Indigenous code elements that are appropriate for the size, scope and risk profile of the company, including nature, scale and impacts of its operations, activities, products and services.

These Indigenous code elements are intended to supplement the requirements of the other sections of the Accountability Code.  

The company shall implement and maintain an ongoing process that:

AC 153

Identifies and seeks to pro-actively engage with such Indigenous Communities

AC 154

Seeks to develop and maintain a working relationship with such Indigenous Communities to enable effective communications, dialogue or response to questions, suggestions or concerns expressed so they are addressed in a timely and respectful manner;

AC 155

Provides support, as appropriate, to allow such Indigenous Communities the capacity to engage meaningfully with the Company;

AC 156

Periodically reviews the effectiveness of the outreach, communications and engagement process with such Indigenous Communities;

ACC 157

Provides Indigenous Community members equitable access to employment and contracting opportunities, including procurement and supply chain.


CIAC receives funding from Transport Canada to support railway safety across Canada

Ottawa, Canada, January 7, 2020 — The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to announce Transport Canada’s Railway Safety Improvement Program (RSIP) will provide $219,750 in financial support over three years to help CIAC improve railway safety and education in communities across Canada.

The CIAC and its Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response initiative (TRANSCAER®) partners, including the Railway Association of Canada, successfully applied for funding to support three key activities that are focused on improving railway safety and training for people and communities along transportation routes.

The three key activities include:

  1. Construction of a new TRANSCAER® Safety Train—a railway tank car that will be converted into a classroom on wheels for the purpose of training emergency responders. The original Safety Train was retired in 2018. The pioneering concept has since been adopted by other organizations across North America and around the world.
  2. Development of advanced training tools—including virtual reality educational tools—that will allow state-of-the-art training and education in even the most remote communities. These enhanced learning and virtual reality training tools will help reach underserved regions of the country, such as the North, where the transit of the TRANSCAER® Safety Train may be more challenging.
  3. Delivering a Canada-wide series of training sessions for our target audiences using these new tools.

“Canada’s chemistry sector relies on the country’s railways to ship roughly 80 per cent of its production, including dangerous goods,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO, CIAC . “This funding allows the CIAC and our TRANSCAER® initiative to reach, train, and educate even more stakeholders and communities across the country making sure they are informed about the products being moved through their area by rail, and what measures are in place to ensure their safe transportation.”

The enhanced educational tools and outreach efforts will focus on a variety of audiences in communities across the country, including first responders, community leaders, the general public, and Indigenous communities.

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