Chemistry industry urges government and CN to work together to get goods moving again

November 19, 2019

OTTAWA – The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) urges the Government of Canada, Canadian National Railway (CN) and Teamsters Canada to work together to prevent serious damage to the Canadian economy and get critical goods moving in Canada again.

“The current work stoppage is extremely detrimental to the Canadian economy and to our member-companies who rely exclusively on rail to ship roughly 80 per cent of their production,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“Fully $38 million worth of industrial chemical products rely on CN’s network to get to their destinations every single day and that the economic impact of the work stoppage is $1 million per day per facility that is shutdown. Some of those goods are also essential to core public services such as water treatment. We urge both sides to consider the far-reaching and urgent economic implications the strike activity and work stoppage at CN is having on industry.”

In many cases, chemical plants are continuous operations that require reliable, uninterrupted rail service to produce and deliver essential products to customers. In the event of an interruption, they quickly run out of storage capacity and incur shortages for incoming raw materials.

The impacts of a CN strike are immediate, severe, and long-lasting as there are no viable alternatives for shipments. Many CIAC members are captive to CN’s network. Even those served by both CN and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have been told that CP’s network is not in a position to take on extra capacity.

CIAC believes that a negotiated solution is always the preferred outcome. Should negotiations fail, however, the Government of Canada must be prepared to act quickly and in the national interest to order the parties to return to work and the negotiating table.

About CIAC:

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is the Association for leaders in the chemistry sector in Canada; a $58 billion industry. The Association represents more than 60 members and partners across the country. Members of CIAC are signatories to Responsible Care® – the Association’s UN-recognized sustainability initiative.

Canadian plastics and chemistry associations to create new combined plastics division

Advocacy efforts to focus on building a circular economy for plastics

November 13, 2019

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) today announced they are joining forces to create a new plastics division to be housed within the CIAC. Pending CIAC and CPIA Board and member approval, the division would be operational in July 2020.

CIAC and CPIA have a history of working collaboratively on projects and issues throughout the years. In 2018, CIAC and CPIA and their members jointly announced ambitious waste reduction targets of 100 per cent of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040 and 100 per cent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030. Additionally, they agreed to a broader commitment to Operation Clean SweepÒ.

“CIAC and CPIA have very complementary strengths and mandates,” said Joel Rudolph, Vice President Strategy and Business Development, Farnell Packaging and Chair, CPIA Board of Directors. “Combining those strengths will increase our share of voice about urgent plastics issues with important stakeholders at a time when our sector needs the clearest and most unified national voice possible.”

“The chemistry and plastics sectors have a long history of innovation to solve society’s most pressing needs by developing new processes, solutions and products,” said Ed Bechberger, President, ERCO Worldwide and Chair, CIAC Board of Directors. “Our Boards agree that the time is definitely right to come together and facilitate the shift to a circular economy.”

The Boards of the two organizations are continuing their due diligence, with the intention of finalizing agreements and recommending confirmation of the transaction by members in Q1 of 2020, with a target closing date of Canada Day 2020. There will be change for each organization should the realignment be approved, and the details of those plans will be developed in the next few months. As part of the process, CPIA will be wound up and dissolved.

About CPIA:
Since 1943, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association has served as the national voice for and leader in plastics industry sustainability across Canada, representing the interests of plastics value chain including resin and raw material suppliers, processors/converters, equipment suppliers, recyclers and brand owners.

About CIAC:
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is the Association for leaders in the chemistry sector in Canada; a $58 billion industry. The Association represents more than 60 members and partners across the country. Members of CIAC are signatories to Responsible Care® – the Association’s UN-recognized sustainability initiative.

Ontario Fall Economic Statement addresses business competitiveness

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) congratulates the Ontario Minister of Finance on delivering the 2019 Fall Economic Statement. We are very pleased with the steps taken so far to address business competitiveness and that the province recognizes that more work remains to be done to win new business investments. CIAC firmly agrees that Ontario must remain vigilant in eliminating the budgetary deficit.

Among the initiatives contained in the 2019 Fall Economic Statement, CIAC is very pleased to see the province:

  • Establish the Premier’s Advisory Council on Competitiveness to determine the essential elements that will help Ontario win large scale business investments and more well-paying jobs.
  • Continue the commitment to eliminate unnecessary red tape that adds cost, time and complexity that do not serve a public interest.
  • Relaunch of the Eastern Ontario and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund programs.
  • Lowering the small business corporate income tax and employment payroll costs.
  • Review existing power generation contracts to find saving opportunities.
  • Official Annual Day of Action on Litter beginning May 12, 2020.

Ontario’s $24-billion chemistry industry is the third-largest manufacturing industry and second largest exporting sector in the province. The sector is a key employer in the Sarnia-Lambton, GTA/Niagara and eastern Ontario regions and directly employs 46,000 Ontarians in well-paying jobs and supports another 220,000 Ontario jobs. Our sector provides important inputs to a range of key manufacturing sectors in the province including automotive, forest products, construction, and food and beverage. The chemistry sector is a key source of innovation and is an indispensable solutions provider to address the challenges of climate change, clean air and water and waste recovery. Ontario’s chemical manufacturers must compete globally both for market share and investment.

The chemistry sector is the fastest growing manufacturing sector in the United States. Over C$300 billion in investments have started or have been announced in the current business cycle, principally in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest. Ontario has an opportunity to benefit from this investment wave.

CIAC is pleased to continue to work with the Ontario Government on the many priorities to create a prosperous Ontario that is once again the economic engine of the country.

CIAC pleased to see chemistry as an integral part of Alberta’s climate and emissions management strategy

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to see that with the tabling of Bill 19, the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Act (TIER), the Alberta government continues the province’s history of leadership on carbon pricing frameworks.

Alberta was the first jurisdiction in North American to apply a price on industrial greenhouse gas emissions in 2007. Now, TIER will create certainty for industry – including the chemistry industry – regarding carbon pricing which is critical for companies looking to invest in the province.

“The TIER program establishes an appropriate carbon pricing framework for our sector. One that acknowledges the energy-intensive, trade-exposed nature of Alberta-based chemical manufacturers,” said Greg Moffatt, CIAC’s Senior Director, Business and Economics. “It creates the conditions to drive new technology and innovation to reduce emissions while at the same time continuing to attract new investments and jobs while adding value to Alberta’s world-class, low-carbon natural gas resource.”

Federal and provincial governments are seeking low-carbon solutions as they confront the impacts of climate change. Canada’s chemistry sector and its highly skilled workers are uniquely positioned to provide innovative solutions in the fight against climate change. Since 2004, CIAC members have invested heavily cutting their carbon dioxide emissions by 18 per cent. Technology and innovation are key pathways to addressing climate change and managing emissions and we will continue to seek opportunities to improve on our record of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The most important emerging technologies moving the world to a low-carbon economy use chemistry to do so: green buildings and insulation; transportation innovation such as lighter vehicles, synthetic fuels and batteries; energy advancements in wind and solar; more efficient food packaging and chemical fertilizers; and air conditioning and refrigerant sectors. Alberta and Canada’s chemistry sector are a world leader in low-intensity carbon chemical production.

CIAC congratulates the government on moving forward with TIER. We will continue to work collaboratively with the Alberta government in developing its Climate and Emissions Management Strategy.

CIAC applauds further Ontario government actions to cut unnecessary red tape

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) congratulates the Ontario government and the Honourable Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, on the release of its latest regulatory burden reduction action.

“CIAC firmly supports the Ontario Government’s commitment to streamline duplicate regulations that impact the competitiveness of the chemical manufacturing,” said Don Fusco, CIAC Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations, Ontario. “These measures that affect the chemistry sector will eliminate unnecessary cost, complexity and time, while protecting our health and the environment.”

Among the initiatives contained in the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019, CIAC is very pleased to see the province:

  • Repeal Section 34 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, eliminating duplicative federal notification requirement for introducing new chemicals.
  • Revoke outdated acetone reporting requirements while maintaining stringent local air quality regulations.
  • Create an electronic system to allow businesses and governments to better track and report on hazardous wastes.

CIAC member operations are governed by Responsible Care®. The UN-recognized initiative compels member to innovate for safer and greener products and processes and continuously improve their environment and community protection, employee health and safety, product stewardship and social engagement.

Ontario’s $24-billion chemistry industry is the third-largest manufacturing industry and second largest exporting sector in the province. Overall, the chemistry sector directly employs 46,000 Ontarians in well-paying jobs and supports another 220,000 jobs in other sectors. The sector provides important inputs to sectors such as automotive, forestry, construction, and food and beverage.

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.

CIAC welcomes Alberta Government’s announcement to continue building on the success of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program

October 23, 2019

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is very pleased that the Alberta Government has confirmed its $1.1 billion commitment to the second round of funding for the Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP2).

PDP2 supports privately funded large-scale projects by providing royalty credits to companies that build facilities to turn ethane, methane, and propane feedstocks into products such as plastics, fabrics and fertilizers. Royalty credits are issued once projects become operational.

“We are very pleased that Alberta is committed to moving forward with this program. The first round of PDP provided $500 million-worth of royalty credits that resulted in over $9 billion of new chemistry investment now underway in Alberta. This announcement will allow Alberta to sustain the momentum, attract billions more in much-needed investment and create good-paying jobs while adding value to Alberta’s world-class, low-carbon energy resources,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

Under PDP2, Alberta received 20 additional applications, totalling close to $60 billion in proposed investment. In continuing the PDP2 program, Alberta stands to realize more than $20 billion in incremental investment.

“CIAC congratulates the government on moving forward with PDP. We will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders, especially the Alberta Government, to develop a long-term framework in Alberta of transparent and predictable investment supports that levels the playing field for new investments in Alberta,” Mr. Masterson said.

CIAC welcomes new members Cabot and Wanhua Chemical as well as new associate members Bagwell Supply and Lexon Projects

October 22, 2019

On October 17, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) was pleased to welcome new members Cabot Canada Ltd. and Wanhua Chemical, as well as new associate members Bagwell Supply Ltd. and Lexon Projects Inc.

“We are delighted to have Cabot Canada and Wanhua Chemical join our CIAC family as full members and Bagwell Supply and Lexon Projects as associate members,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“These are companies with safety, sustainability and innovation at the heart of their businesses. We hope to be able to further their goals for continuous improvement and leadership in Canada’s chemistry sector and look forward to strengthening our association through their expertise and knowledge.”

“Wanhua Chemical is honoured to join the CIAC and we look forward helping provide a responsible and sustainable future for the Chemical Industry of Canada,” said Jacob Sturgeon, President of Wanhua Chemical’s North American business. “Wanhua Chemical is deeply committed to providing Canada with advanced chemicals that will help transform the efficiency and sustainability of Canada’s construction and automotive industries, enhancing the quality of life for Canadians for generations to come.”

Cabot Canada Ltd. Is a carbon black manufacturing facility in Sarnia, Ontario, that produce carbon blacks for elastomer reinforcement for customers in North American, Europe and China. Cabot Canada is committed to upholding the highest standards in safety, health and environmental practices, while also striving to make a positive and lasting impact in the local community.

Wanhua Chemical is a global company with Canadian resale operations located in Guelph, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta. The company’s main business lines focus on Polyurethane, Petrochemicals, and Performance Chemicals and materials. As members of the American Chemistry Council, Wanhua has been Responsible Care® certified, a commitment that is reflected in the company’s mission statement: Advancing Chemistry, Transforming Lives; and, in their vision to become an innovative, world-class chemical company.

Bagwell Supply Ltd. is a leading Canadian supplier of bulk bags and packaging solutions. Founded in Vancouver, BC in 1997, Bagwell has over two decades of experience supplying companies across many industries in North America, including the chemicals sector, with safe, reliable and effective packaging solutions. In addition to standard bulk bags, Bagwell provides a variety of specialty bags, including filtration bags and UN-rated bulk bags, and offers full product customization.

Lexon Projects is a design, general construction, civil, mechanical contracting and engineering firm. For the past 27 years, Lexon has constructed and renovated facilities across Canada such as: chemical process and storage facilities; mud, sand and cement plants; tank farms; rail and truck load facilities; chemical containment structures; offices; testing laboratories; maintenance shops; manufacturing facilities; warehouses, and other facilities.

To learn more about Cabot Canada Ltd.:

To learn more about Wanhua Chemical:

To learn more about Bagwell Supply Ltd.:

To learn more about Lexon Projects Inc.:

CIAC welcomes new Chair and Vice-Chair to CIAC Board of Directors

October 17, 2019

On October 17, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomed Ed Bechberger, President for ERCO Worldwide, as Chair of the Board of Directors for 2019-2020, and Peter Noble, Chemicals Business Manager, Imperial Oil, as Vice-Chair.

“CIAC has long been a strong voice for the chemistry industry in Canada and I look forward to serving as its Chair. I am proud to be a part of the association of Canada’s solution providers and stewardship pioneers as we work to achieve our industry’s important priorities this year,” said Mr. Bechberger.

Mr. Bechberger follows outgoing Chair, Marcelo Lu, President of BASF Canada.

“Ed and Peter have had a long and successful relationship with CIAC. We are very grateful to be able to tap into their deep knowledge of the industry, which will be imperative to leading the Board and Executive Committee to guide the association,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“I would also like to thank outgoing Chair Marcelo Lu for his vital contribution over the past 12 months. His leadership, enthusiasm for continuous improvement and his passion for our industry was palpable and we are grateful to continue to benefit from his expertise.”

Additionally, CIAC welcomed Arnel Santos, Senior Vice President, Operations, NOVA Chemicals Corporation to its Board of Directors. View the full list of CIAC Board of Directors here.

Ed Bechberger

President, ERCO Worldwide
Chair, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

Mr. Bechberger was appointed President of ERCO Worldwide in 2015. Previously, as Senior Vice-President for Operations, he was responsible for all aspects of ERCO’s operations and strategy development. Since 1980, he has held various progressive positions at ERCO, including Senior Vice-President Sales and Operations, Vice-President and General Manager for Chloralkali Business, Vice-President Business Development and numerous manager and technical roles. He has presented several papers at Pulp and Paper industry conferences around the world; has commissioned over 30 chlorine dioxide plants around the world and is named as inventor on 14 patents. Mr. Bechberger holds a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering and a Diploma in Chemical Technology from Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. As a member of both the CIAC’s board and Executive Committee for just over 4 years, in October 2018 he was appointed to the position of Vice-Chair, of the CIAC. Mr. Bechberger previously served on the Board of the Chlorine Institute.


Peter Noble

Chemicals Business Manager, Imperial Oil
Vice-Chair, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

Mr. Noble was appointed Chemicals Business Manager of Imperial Oil in 2018. He is responsible for the sales, supply chain and business development for Imperial’s petrochemicals business. He started his career with Imperial in 1989 after receiving his Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and has more than 30 years of experience in the petrochemicals industry. Mr. Noble previously served on the board of directors of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and Alberta’s Clean Air Strategic Alliance. He has also held leadership positions within the CIAC, American Chemistry Council, Canadian Fuels Association and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.


CIAC welcomes Ontario Government’s announcement transitioning blue box recycling to producers

August 15, 2019

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) applauds today’s announcement from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) about beginning the transition to full extended producer responsibility for Ontario’s blue-box recycling system.

“We applaud the Ontario Government to tackling the urgent issue of plastic waste head-on in a way that has been proven to be effective in other jurisdictions within Canada,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“Unlike symbolic gestures that do little to solve the real issue – like bans – industry-led, designed and managed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs have been shown to effectively and efficiently allow producers to grow end-markets for recycled materials and encourage producers to make recyclable products. It will also reduce costs to municipalities and taxpayers.”

With EPR, the entire life cycle of a product, from selection of materials and design, to its end-of-life management, is the responsibility of the producer. In British Columbia, all recycling is handled by the non-profit Recycle BC, whose costs are covered by businesses in the province that create packaging or products. B.C. has the highest rate of waste recovery in Canada (78 per cent), and one of the lowest rates of contamination (6.5 per cent). Currently, Canada only recycles around 10 per cent of plastics.

In 2018, CIAC and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association announced ambitious targets that underscore their members’ commitment to a future without plastic waste: 100 percent of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040 and 100 percent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030.

“Our members are committed to developing a more sustainable approach for waste management through better designs, innovative recycling and working with governments at all levels,” said Mr. Masterson. “We look forward to working with the Ontario Government to support and facilitate well-designed, industry-led extended producer responsibility system.”

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