2020 press releases from CIAC

CIAC Launches New Plastics Division to Lead the Way on a Circular Economy for Plastics

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) officially launched its new Plastics Division today, welcoming the members of the former Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) as part of the CIAC team. The result of a transaction between CIAC and CPIA that was set in motion in 2019, CIAC now represents the entire plastics industry value chain from resin producers and raw material suppliers to processors and converters, as well as equipment manufacturers, recyclers and brand owners.

“CIAC is delighted to be launching the Plastics Division at a time that is both challenging and exciting for Canada’s plastics industry. The Plastics Division and its members will focus their efforts on advancing sustainable solutions for the development of a circular economy for plastics in Canada,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC. “The Division is committed to promoting responsible plastic production in Canada while working toward reducing and eliminating plastic pollution from the environment, all in support of a robust Canadian economy.”

“By combining forces with CIAC’s respected and pragmatic advocacy team, Plastics Division members will work collaboratively with other plastics value chain interests in Canada, and with like-minded interests in North America and globally to ensure a coordinated and effective approach to plastics public policy issues,” continued Masterson.

“By bringing together members of both the chemistry and plastics sector, the Division will be able to respond more quickly in today’s very dynamic environment for plastics. And it will do so with a single, strong and united voice.”

CIAC will announce its Plastics Division Vice President in August, as well as the rest of the Division’s team. Three Plastics Division members will be added to the CIAC Board of Directors at its Board meeting in October.

CIAC statement on the passing of John Vincett

John Vincett Head Shot Red Background

We are very sad to share with you the news that John Vincett has passed away.

John was involved with Canada’s chemical and petrochemical industry for close to 40 years. A skilled communicator, he was a strong proponent of Responsible Care® and had facilitated CIAC’s National Advisory Panel (NAP) – the conscience of the Association – since its inception in 1986. His astute comprehension of the important issues concerning the industry allowed him to promote critical dialogue on some of the landmark issues our industry faced over the decades. Throughout his career, John worked with community outreach programs at more than 200 manufacturing sites across North America assisting companies in earning the social license to operate and helping guide them in gaining legitimate public trust.

In 2016, John was awarded CIAC’s Chair’s Award in recognition of his years of leadership and service to the industry. We are extremely grateful for the tireless efforts of John, and his long-time associate Francis Gillis, provided to our industry.

John was an imposing figure, at well over six feet tall, but his wit, gentle demeanour and broad smile put all at ease. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Pamela, his children Toby, Sarah and Megan and his granddaughter Madeleine.

Later this year, I will reach out to the broader Responsible Care community with ideas for establishing a lasting recognition of John’s many contributions.


Bob Masterson
President and CEO

Industry groups come together to support Canada’s food banks

In an effort to bolster support for Canadian families in need, 18 national and regional industry associations and partners came together today to donate a total of $36,000 to the Ottawa Food Bank, Food Banks Canada, and to food banks across the country – and they have challenged other industry groups to do the same.

“The initiative spearheaded by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), also encourages participation from association staff members who have the means to support,” said MAC President and CEO Pierre Gratton.

“It all started with a Sunday afternoon thought and an email to Bob at CIAC and Derek at FPAC,” said Gratton. “They thought it was a great idea and by Sunday night we had over a dozen supporters on board,” he added.

“This is such a difficult time for so many families in Ottawa and across the country.  We are all trying to find the most meaningful ways to pitch in and help,” said CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson. “We know that the Ottawa Food Bank, Food Banks Canada, and local food banks are trusted partners and can put these funds to use right away to help families in our communities,” Masterson added.

In addition to CIAC, FPAC, and MAC, the initiative has received support from:

  • Association Québécoise du Propane
  • Business Council of Canada
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
  • Canadian Finance and Leasing Association
  • Canadian Fuels Association
  • Canadian Gas Association
  • Canadian Natural Gas Vehicles Association
  • Canadian Propane Association
  • Canadian Real Estate Association
  • Canadian Wood Council
  • Chamber of Marine Commerce
  • Fertilizer Canada
  • Railway Association of Canada
  • Retail Council of Canada
  • The Portage Group

“We thank our partners across so many different industries for their support,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “We stand together to challenge all industry groups based in Ottawa and those across the country to join us in donating to the Ottawa Food Bank, Food Banks Canada, or a local food bank or charity that is providing frontline support to families in need,” Nighbor added.


To make a donation to support the Ottawa Food Bank, please visit www.ottawafoodbank.ca

To make a donation in support of a food bank near you, please visit: http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/.

Chemistry Sector supports Ontario’s response measures to COVID-19

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) congratulates Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips on the tabling of Bill 188 – Economic and Fiscal Update Act, 2020 and applauds all MPPs who voted unanimously to enable a speedy approval in the Legislature.

CIAC endorses the Government of Ontario’s plan which includes extraordinary measures that provide additional resources to support health care, people, and jobs while helping reduce near-term cash flow pressures on Ontario businesses.  We believe more support will be needed in the coming weeks and look to the provinces to work together with the federal government to provide similar supports to backstop the economy as other countries have done.

“CIAC appreciates the swift work of government and MPPs from all sides in reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic. In these unprecedented times, the chemistry sector is dedicated to providing crucial products Ontarians rely on every day and ensuring Ontario weathers the storm and prospers in the long run.”
– Bob Masterson, President/CEO, CIAC

CIAC recognizes the tireless, ongoing efforts of frontline staff and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The chemistry sector is ready to meet the challenges we will face in the coming weeks and months. CIAC is pleased to continue to work with the government to create a stronger and growing chemistry sector that benefits Ontario’s economy and environment.

Canada’s Leading Business Organizations Call on Government to Protect Jobs and Postpone Non-Essential New Measures

Over 60 of Canada’s leading business organizations are calling on governments to support a national effort to protect jobs and to postpone non-essential new measures.

“Canadian businesses are ready and able to step up to overcome the challenge of COVID-19. We will work to ensure that Canadians have the food to feed their families, the fuel to heat our homes and to keep essential services moving, the equipment and facilities to treat the sick and the communications systems that unite us even as we are kept apart from one another.

To win this fight, we need every possible human and financial resource and we must be able to focus all of our attention on this struggle. The proposed 10 per cent wage subsidy for small businesses was a step in the right direction by the government. But more needs to be done to help businesses and workers through this crisis and maintain the connection between employers and employees.

We call on governments to provide more direct funding for employees. Other countries have recognized this need and are offering to cover as much as 80 per cent of the incomes of workers who are laid off as a result of the health emergency. We encourage the government to backstop the economy by implementing income supports at similar levels as Denmark and the United Kingdom.

We also ask governments at all levels to support our efforts by postponing any increases in taxes, non-essential new regulations, and unnecessary consultations that take us away from this mission. Businesses and governments need to be focused 100 per cent on the current crisis, leaving other priorities aside until the crisis abates.

We thank Canada’s governments for their efforts to mobilize Canadian society to win this fight. The business community is ready to meet the challenges we will face in the coming weeks and months. For the first time in decades, the entire country and the entire world is focused on one problem.

Governments and the business community must collaborate in new and innovative ways to support Canadian families while we try to solve it.”


Alberta Cannabis Council
Alberta Chambers of Commerce
Aluminum Association of Canada
Associated Equipment Distributors
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies | Canada
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers Canada
Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
BC Chamber of Commerce
Beer Canada
Business Council of Canada
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
Canadian Airports Council
Canadian Business Aviation Association
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Construction Association
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
Canadian Craft Brewers Association
Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Franchise Association
Canadian Fuels Association Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association
Canadian Live Music Association
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Canadian Propane Association
Canadian Society of Association Executives
Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
Cannabis Council of Canada
Chamber of Marine Commerce
Chamber of Shipping
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
Colleges Institutes Canada
Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation
Consumer Health Products Canada
Convention Centres of Canada Economic Developers Association of Canada
Electro Federation Canada
Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
Fertilizer Canada
Food & Consumer Products of Canada
Food Processors of Canada
Forest Products Association of Canada
Freight Management Association of Canada
Frontier Duty Free Association
Hotel Association of Canada
Innovative Medicines Canada
Institute of Communication Agencies
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
Meetings Mean Business Canada
Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Petroleum Services Association of Canada
Responsible Distribution Canada
Retail Council of Canada
Supply Chain Canada
The Explorers and Producers Association of Canada
The Mining Association of Canada
Wine Growers Canada
Young Presidents Organization
Yukon Chamber of Commerce

Canada’s Chemistry Sector – Critical to Canada’s Economy and Public Safety

Dear Prime Minister:

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is the voice of Canada’s $58 billion industrial chemical manufacturing sector. We are writing you to share our perspective on the treatment of critical infrastructure given current measures to support social distancing in Canada and the potential impact of additional measures that may be considered going forward in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We applaud the federal government’s efforts, and those of provincial and local governments, to limit the spread of the COVID-19 in Canada. The safety of CIAC member employees, contractors and the communities in which we do business continues to be our members’ top priority. Our member-companies have business continuity plans in place and are prepared to deal effectively with disruptions impacting 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 wellbeing 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 practise social distancing including internal meetings of staff.

As of today, we are not aware of any material impacts to member operations or supply chains.

The use of measures to limit social interaction are warranted given the risk of widespread infection. While the use of such measures is in the best interest of public health, it is essential that key industries and sectors representing critical infrastructure in Canada, including the chemical manufacturing sector, maintain the ability to operate throughout this crisis. While work from home strategies limit the number of employees traveling to work and interacting with co-workers, manufacturing facilities cannot be operated remotely and require the day-to-day presence of highly trained personnel. This also includes ensuring access to critical supplies and transportation systems so our industry can continue to produce and deliver essential products.

The chemistry sector in Canada produces chemicals that are vital to maintain community health and safety including those that support clean drinking water and sanitary products for Canadian communities and households. Plastics are in demand, worldwide, to maintain food sanitation and are essential to the delivery of routine and emergency health services. Our members have facilities across Canada with several significant clusters that produce goods needed globally and represent large employment centres. Where appropriate, member-companies are in discussion with authorities where opportunities may exist to redirect production of commercial goods to the production of safety-critical goods.

If the use of additional measures to shelter in place are considered, we would ask that critical infrastructure in Canada, including the chemical manufacturing sector, maintain the ability to operate and produce critical goods for Canadians. Given the current global economic outlook, it is vital to keep the chemical manufacturing sector operational.

We are facing unprecedented circumstances. Governments at all levels are being faced with unprecedented policy choices. Within that context, CIAC and its member-companies are applying effective measures to prevent the spread of infection at our sites, while also maintaining operations. Critical infrastructure in Canada needs to continue operating to support the health and wellbeing of Canadians and our economy.

A heartfelt thank you to you and your colleagues, to the public service, to healthcare professionals, and to first responders working tirelessly to protect Canada and Canadians.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Masterson
President and CEO

Hon. Seamus O’Regan, Minister, Natural Resources Canada
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister, Transport Canada
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, President, Treasury Board
Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister, Finance Canada
Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister, Health Canada
Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Hon. Bill Blair, Minister, Public Safety
Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister, Economic Development
Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister, Public Service and Procurement Hon. Dr. Kirsty Duncan, Deputy House Leader of the Government

Provincial Premiers
Hon. Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta
Hon. François Legault, Premier of Québec
Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Hon. John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia
Hon. Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan
Hon. Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba
Hon. Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick
Hon. Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island
Hon. Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia
Hon. Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland
Hon. Joe Savikataaq, Premier of Nunavut
Hon. Sandy Silver, Premier, Yukon
Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Premier, Northwest Territories

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada: COVID-19 Response

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) recognizes the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and promotes the continued cooperation between all levels of government and other organizations as we collectively take the necessary measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.  

CIAC’s Leadership Team is actively following the situation and communicating with CIAC staff and members to ensure immediate action and constant flow of information.  

CIAC encourages association staff and members to practice the following until notified otherwise: 

  • Follow best practices laid out by governments and health authorities 
  • 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 
  • Restrict all non-essential domestic and international travel 
  • Anyone who has returned from an international trip to self-isolate for a minimum of two weeks 
  • Practice “good hygiene” including washing hands; wiping down hard services; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; avoid high-contact activities and gestures including handshakes 
  • Avoid hospitals and long-term care facilities if you are or have the potential to be sick
  • Avoid large gatherings of people and practice social distancing to the best of your ability 

 Keep an eye out for correspondence from CIAC who will continue CIAC staff and members up-to-date on the everchanging situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.  



Federal: Public Health Agency of Canada 

Ottawa: Ottawa Public Health 

Toronto: Toronto Public Health 

Ontario: Public Health Ontario 

Alberta: Alberta Health Services 

Quebec: Quebec Government 


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.

Chemistry and Plastics Industries’ Statement on the Government of Canada’s “Draft Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution”

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) have reviewed the report which summarizes the current state of the science regarding the potential impacts of plastic pollution on the environment and human health, and broadly agree with the report’s key findings:

• Plastics, when properly managed throughout their lifecycle, offer enormous environmental, economic and societal benefits;
• A small portion of plastic waste, estimated at 1 per cent, is being discharged to the environment where it can impact organisms and their habitat; and
• While studies show that neither plastics nor plastic waste pose risks to human health, there is a need for research to address knowledge gaps.

“Canadians have a deep, cultural connection to the environment and are rightly concerned by the images of plastic pollution and its impact on the environment and wildlife,” said Carol Hochu, President and CEO, CPIA. “Canadians have also made it quite clear that they expect businesses and governments at all levels to work together to address this issue and address it promptly. We agree and believe that Canada’s chemistry and plastics industries are uniquely positioned to provide innovative solutions.”

CIAC, CPIA and their members have established aggressive goals to ensure all plastic packaging material will be 100 per cent recyclable by the end of the decade, and that all plastic packaging will be recovered and recycled by 2040.

“These industry goals are broadly aligned with the federal government’s commitments as part of the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter (2018) and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s Strategy and Action Plan for Zero Plastic Waste,” said Isabelle Des Chênes, Executive Vice President, CIAC. “We look forward to working with governments at all levels to make those goals a reality.”

While the Government of Canada has pledged to ban certain plastic articles, CIAC and CPIA believe that, as is the case with a price on carbon, economic and other instruments are preferable to regulatory prohibitions. The experience in British Columbia with Recycle BC shows that making industry pay for the plastic and other packaging it puts into the economy can be the more effective and efficient approach to managing plastic and other waste. The industry is also encouraged by the Government of Ontario’s plan to transition the Blue Box program to full producer responsibility, similar to B.C., which will promote innovation and increase Ontario’s recycling rates.

CIAC and CPIA believe that bans will have a disproportionate impact on certain businesses; many small and medium-sized Canadian companies’ sole business is producing plastic products that safely and efficiently meet the needs of Canadians. Government will need to take the needs and concerns of these companies and their thousands of workers into account as they would feel the full effects of such decisions.

CIAC and CPIA also urge the government to make the right choice on which regulatory tools it will use to manage plastic waste. The chemistry and plastics industries will continue to support the case that plastic waste is better regulated through other parts of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, or through new circular economy legislation, rather than through the sections of the Act that are designed to address toxic chemicals.

CIAC and CPIA announced last November 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 member Pyrowave receives $3.3M from Innovation, Science and Industry Canada

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to see the Government of Canada providing CIAC member, Pyrowave, with more than $3 million in funding to support their continued development of clean technologies that help reduce plastic waste, while building healthier communities and transitioning into a modern, circular economy for plastics.

Quebec-based Pyrowave has a patented technology that breaks down plastics using high heat produced by microwaves. This technology is packaged in small, modular units that can be used directly onsite at recycling facilities and at producers of plastic waste.

“Pyrowave is the perfect example of how innovative companies can make a tangible impact in our mission to reduce and eliminate plastic waste,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO, CIAC. “This technology shows how companies can make great strides in creating a circular economy for plastic waste that generates jobs, grows the Canadian economy, and benefits the environment.”

“Our investment in clean technology not only helps reduce Canada’s environmental impact but also supports innovative Canadian entrepreneurs in getting their clean technologies to global markets,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

CIAC’s members are committed to developing a more sustainable approach for waste management through better designs, innovative recycling and working with all levels of government. The CIAC and its members have ambitious targets that underscore our commitment to a future without plastic waste. These targets include 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.

For full details on the CIAC’s commitment to reducing plastic waste, visit GettingPlasticsRight.ca.

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