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.

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.

Federal government signals its commitment to ensuring Canada’s competitiveness in Fall Economic Statement

Information sharing and collaboration at Alberta Chemistry Day 2018

David Podruzny, CIAC’s VP of Business and Economics, retires after 25 years

After nearly 25 years of dedicated service to the Canadian chemistry industry, David Podruzny, CIAC’s VP of Business and Economics, will retire at the end of this year.

Many who worked with Mr. Podruzny over the years, including former CIAC President and CEOs, Richard Paton and Jean Bélanger, gathered in Ottawa on October 18 to wish Mr. Podruzny well in his retirement.

Mr. Podruzny came to CIAC’s Business and Economics team in August 1994, on secondment from Industry Canada where he was Director of Chemicals.  Before that, in 1979, he had joined the federal Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce – now ISED – where he participated in the Canada-U.S. Free Trade negotiations, the GATT Uruguay Roundtable negotiations, and served as a member of Canada’s Energy and Petrochemicals negotiating team during the North American Free Trade Negotiations.

“Ever since, David has been passionate and knowledgeable on all matters trade. Never was this more apparent, or more in need, than in this past year of negotiations on the new United States–Mexico–Canada trade agreement,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

In addition to becoming Vice-President and leading CIAC’s advocacy efforts on tax, trade, investment and competitiveness, Mr. Podruzny has also served as secretary to CIAC’s Board of Directors since 2003.

“We appreciate everything you have contributed to the global chemistry industry, our national industry, this Association and its members and each of us as your peers and colleagues,” said Mr. Masterson.

“Since I arrived here nearly nine years ago, David has been a tremendous friend and thoughtful colleague. He has been patient and supportive. It has been a pleasure and honor to work alongside him.”

We wish David all the best in his retirement.

Alberta Chemistry Day 2018

CIAC invites you to attend our 19th Alberta Chemistry Day.

This annual event for all chemistry industry stakeholders provides an opportunity to discuss common issues, better understand industry and government positions and get to know new participants.

This event is sponsored by NOVA Chemicals Corp.

Where: Amber Room of the Matrix Hotel, 10640 -100 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta

When: Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Who: Speakers will include Marg McCuaig-Boyd,  Alberta Minister of Energy; Allan Fogwill,  President of Canadian Energy Research Institute, presenting findings on a recent study on natural gas;  and Let’s Talk Science will be sharing their mission to expand awareness of STEM with Canadian youth.

There will also be panel discussions on:

  • Innovations in Plastic Design, Recycling, and Recovery
  • Environmental Regulation and Competitiveness of the Chemistry Sector
  • Market Access: With New Investment in Chemical Sector, Is our Rail and Port Infrastructure up to the Challenge.

Register: There is no cost for attendance. To register, please RSVP to Lyn Gibbard at lgibbard@canadianchemistry.ca