Competitiveness and Trade related articles

Chemistry industry seeks innovation fund for plastics recycling technology in federal pre-budget submission

August 6, 2018

On August 2, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada asked the Government of Canada to commit to the establishment of a new Plastic Technology Innovation Fund (PTIF) to promote the research and development of ground-breaking technology in plastic recycling and recovery innovation as part of its pre-budget submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

The fund would include an initial allocation of $200 million and Natural Resources Canada would be responsible for assessing applications from the private sector and research communities for innovation in areas of product design and advanced plastics recycling and recovery such as chemical recycling, pyrolysis, gasification and energy recovery.

“There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to managing plastic waste. A variety of technologies and approaches will be needed to keep plastic waste out of the environment and in the economy,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC. “The innovation and ingenuity of the chemistry sector will be key in solving this problem.”

Other highlights of the submission include CIAC’s request for the reform the Federal Scientific Research and Development (SR&ED) program to help foster research and development in Canada. These reforms include:

  • raising the investment tax credit to 20 per cent from the current 15 per cent;
  • eliminating or substantially raising the upper limit for taxable capital phase-out range from the current $50 million; and
  • reinstating capital expenditure eligibility that was phased out beginning January 1, 2013;
  • eliminate the 20 per cent disallowance on arm’s-length consulting payments.

The SR&ED program provides more than $3 billion annually to over 20,000 claimants and is administered by the Canadian Revenue Agency. The proposed changes to the SR&ED program are required to ensure that Canada remains a destination for global research mandates.

Finally, the CIAC is proposing the Federal Government re-authorize the existing funding for the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) and specifically develop and expand all aspects related to international development to share Canada’s expertise.

To read the full submission, please see: The Chemistry Industry 2020 Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affair

 

CIAC holds press conference on the proposed Clean Fuel Standard

On April 9, CIAC held a press conference and met with numerous government official to sound the alarm on the Government of Canada’s proposed Clean Fuel Standard (CFS).

To start out the day, CIAC Chair and President of BASF Canada, Marcelo Lu and CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson held a press conference to the Parliamentary Press gallery explaining the industry’s position and concerns regarding the CFS.

The CFS as currently designed will be the first standard in the world to include industrial natural gas and propane. The Government of Canada has proposed a phased-in approach targeting liquid fuel in 2022. If implemented as proposed, the CFS will push the total carbon price in excess of $200 a tonne, effectively doubling the cost of natural gas for the industry.

Natural gas costs to double for chemistry industry under the proposed Clean Fuel Standard

Ontario Bill 66 receives Royal Assent

April 4, 2019

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) was pleased to see the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, or Bill 66, receive Royal Assent on April 3 and congratulates the Ontario government and the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“CIAC is pleased to see the Ontario government streamline duplicate regulations for the chemical manufacturing while maintaining protections for Canadians’ health and the environment,” said Don Fusco, CIAC Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations, Ontario. “These measures will eliminate unnecessary cost, complexity and time for chemistry sector, and bring us in line with other provinces.”

Among the initiatives contained in the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, CIAC is very pleased to see the province:

  • Repeal the Toxics Reduction Act by 2021 and rely on the robust and science-based Federal Chemicals Management Plan, as other provinces do.
  • Amend Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to allow updated labels to be placed on existing chemical containers.

We are also pleased to see the Ontario government revoke nine regulations related to the Municipal Industrial Strategy for Abatement (MISA) and insert these requirements into Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs).

CIAC is pleased to continue to work with the government on the many priorities to modernize business regulations to be outcome-focused and evidence-based while continuing to protect the public interest.

Sixth Estate panel discusses the case of the missing $30B in Canadian chemistry

On the Sixth Estate’s Before the Bell panel discussion Thursday, March 21 CIAC President and CEO, Bob Masterson presented the case of the missing $30 billion in Canada’s economy due to missing out on chemistry sector investment opportunities – even though Canada has a lot of the fundamentals in place.

“The Canadian chemical sector has not seen the same level of global investment that the Americans have, even though Canada has a lot of the fundamentals in place. We have all the ingredients to succeed,” Mr. Masterson told host Catherine Clark. “They will benchmark Canada as their next investment, and then they sell that against other jurisdictions, and we always lose.”

Mr. Masterson noted that about $15 billion had been found through recently announced major investments in Alberta and Ontario, with the provinces doing the heavy lifting to attract new investment in the sector. Major investments of note were by Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation, Inter Pipeline, NOVA Chemical and Nauticol Energy.

Mr. Masterson was joined by Ihor Korbabicz, executive director of Abacus Data, Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, Aniket Bhushan, adjunct professor at Carleton University, Ian McKay, CEO of Invest in Canada.

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.

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.