CIAC Hill Day emphasizes environmental regulatory burden as barrier to competitiveness

On October 18, representatives from the chemistry industry, along with the Chemistry Industry Association’s (CIAC) Vice-President of Business and Economics, David Podruzny, Vice-President of Responsible Care®, Luc Robitaille, and Director of Health and Environmental Policy, Shannon Watt, met with members of the federal government to express support for the Government’s agenda while highlighting the stress of regulatory burden on the industry’s competitiveness and investment opportunities.

As a sector that is globally best in class in energy efficiency and low-intensity carbon chemical production, Canadian chemistry is poised to provide the products of tomorrow’s green economy. Recently, the United States has seen a $250 billion investment wave in chemistry. Despite Canada’s many advantages for attracting similar investments; having world class facilities in place, an abundance of low-carbon feedstock, green electricity grids and an educated labour force, investment in Canada is well below historic levels. Nevertheless, Canada is still on the radar for the next wave of investments and there are more than $12 billion in proposed projects ready to be invested in Canada.

“These are real opportunity for investments in our green economy,” said Watt. “All levels of governments need to work together to reduce the complex regulatory burden impacting industry, and to bring those investment dollars here.”

However, the regulatory burden, overlap, inconsistency, and general duplication in policies, show considerable risks to the competitiveness of the industry. The federal government has set in motion several regulatory actions including a Carbon Pricing Backstop regulation, a Clean Fuel Standard, the Reductions in the Release of Methane and VOC regulations, and the greening of the electricity grid that may overlap or duplicate many provincial or federal policies and programs.

As Canada moves towards a green economy, it is important for industry and the various levels of government to continue to be cooperative and approach the goals of sustainability, without hindering competitiveness, together.

Attendees from the chemistry industry included representatives from Methanex Corporation, Imperial, NOVA Chemical Corporation, and Dow Chemical Canada ULC.