CIAC calls for action to renew and transform Ontario’s chemistry sector

Today, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) called on the Province of Ontario to work with the industry and other stakeholders to renew and transform Ontario’s important chemistry sector.

CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson noted, “The global chemistry sector is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors. That growth is expected to continue with global chemical volumes tripling over the next two decades.”

Masterson highlighted that more than $300 billion of chemistry sector investments have been completed or are underway in North America over the past seven years, but “while Ontario has taken important steps to improve the regulatory climate, urgent attention is needed to ensure the province does not continue to be a fly-over destination for global chemistry investors.”  

A recent study conducted by IHS Markit concluded that Ontario’s $26-billion chemistry industry has never before faced such serious challenges to its viability as the petrochemical industry transitions to a Net-Zero future. The study found that Ontario provides the least competitive investment conditions across the five major and competing chemistry regions in North America. It cautioned that the status quo cannot be taken for granted and that if immediate action is not taken to attract capital investment, the sector would fall even further behind, and likely lead to eventual plant closures.

In addition to ongoing growth, the global and Canadian chemistry and plastic sectors are embarking on two simultaneous transformations – the transformation to a circular economy for plastics and the transformation to carbon-neutral chemistry production. Getting investment conditions right in Ontario will ensure the sector can attract the capital to renew and participate in these foundational transformations.

CIAC is calling on the province to establish an Action Plan to attract capital to ensure the successful renewal and transformation of the sector. “In addition to maintaining the economic contributions from the province’s third-largest manufacturing sector, renewal and transformation will contribute to Ontario’s circular economy and climate change objectives while also maintaining the viability of other priority provincial sectors served by chemistry, including transportation, mining, forestry and agri-food,” said Masterson.

Read the executive summary here.

Read the two-page overview here.