Ontario Chemistry Day 2020 Shines Spotlight on Chemistry Sector, Leads to Special Advisor Role in Provincial Cabinet

 CIAC held its inaugural Ontario Chemistry Day on February 19, 2020, welcoming over 60 industry and government delegates to the Toronto Hilton (downtown). The event was aimed at building dialogue on common issues, better understand industry and government positions, and get to know new participants, both in industry and government.   

Special thanks to all the elected members and officials from the provincial government that attended, including Bob Bailey, MPP Sarnia-Lambton; Deepak Anand, MPP Mississauga-Malton; Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP Mississauga-Lakeshore; Jim McDonell, MPP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry / PA – Municipal Affairs; Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing / MPP Leeds-Grenville; and Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister, Red Tape Reduction. 

The event featured addresses by key Ministers from the Ontario government, panel discussions on the Enabling the Circular Economy to Manage Plastic Waste and Attracting New Petrochemical Investments – Learning from Alberta’s success and a keynote presentation on risk communications by recognized expert Dan Gardner. 

With the success of the 2020 Ontario Chemistry Day, plans are already being made for next year’s event.  Stay tuned for details. 

Hon. Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks offered welcoming remarks to kick off the event. Minister Yurek reinforced the value of the chemistry sector and the government’s focus to balance a healthy environment with a growing economy.


The Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction reinforced the value of the chemistry sector to Ontario’s economy and highlighted key red tape reduction measures the government has taken.


Isabelle Des Chenes, CIAC Executive Vice President, moderated the Enabling the Circular Economy to Manage Plastic Waste panel in which panellists shared their perspectives on how we can enable a circular economy for plastics to achieve a zero plastic waste future. Sharing their perspectives were Chris Hilkene, President and CEO, Pollution Probe; Sarah Marshall, Director of Sustainability, NOVA Chemicals; and Alison Pilla, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Policy Division, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.


Don Fusco, Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario moderated the second panel: Attracting New Petrochemical Investments – Learning From Alberta’s Success.  The panel discussion explored the state of the petrochemical investment activity in North America and highlighted the drivers that have enabled Alberta attract $12 billion in new investments and an anticipated $20 billion in additional investments in the near future.   Panel participants included: Allan Fogwill, President and CEO, Canadian Energy Research Institute, Mark Plamandon, Executive Director, Alberta Industrial Heartland, Matthew Slotwinski,Senior Investment Advisor, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Marcelo Lu, President, BASF Canada and Trevor Dauphinee, Assistant Deputy Minister, Industries and Sectors Strategy Division, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.


Newly announced as the Special Advisor to the Premier and Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, MPP Deepak Anand (Mississauga-Malton) addresses the delegates at Ontario Chemistry Day 2020.


Following Ontario Chemistry Day 2020 was CIAC’s February 20, 2020 Board of Directors Meeting. CIAC was delighted to host a special keynote address by the Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.