Canada’s chemistry industry is committed to the responsible stewardship of chemicals, through its flagship Responsible Care® initiative.
CIAC also supports the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) – a rigorous, risk-based approach to assessing and managing chemical substances. First launched in 2006, the CMP’s health and environmental assessors are working to review the safety of thousands of widely-used chemicals by 2020.
CIAC sees the CMP as a major success – one that positions Canada as a global leader in chemicals management. CIAC will continue to advocate for funding for the CMP, and to work with Environment Canada and Health Canada to ensure that the program operates effectively, so that Canadians can be confident that their health, safety, and environment are protected.
AIR QUALITY & CLIMATE CHANGE
CIAC has been actively working with Canada’s federal and provincial governments to address the twin issues of air quality and climate change. CIAC’s goal is to see these challenges met with sound, practical policies that improve environmental performance, while avoiding double-regulation and maintaining Canada’s competiveness.
CIAC and its members support Canada’s Air Quality Management System (AQMS) – a groundbreaking collaboration between industry, non-governmental organizations, and federal and provincial governments, that sets base-levels of emissions for industry and other sectors, and ensures air quality across the country.
CIAC’s members have also taken independent action to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Since 1992, they have reduced the global-warming potential of their operations by 60 per cent, and their emissions of smog-producing nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and sulphur dioxide by 63, 75 and 83 per cent, respectively.
Canada’s chemistry industry relies on a variety of raw materials or “feedstocks” for chemical production – everything from natural gas, to oil, electricity, minerals and biomass.
Natural gas liquids (NGLs), a small but important component of natural gas, contain the key building-blocks needed for petrochemical production: ethane, propane and butane. Canada’s petrochemical sector transforms these building-block chemicals into value-added products such as ethylene, polyethylene, and ethylene glycol, and uses methane – the main component of natural gas – to manufacture methanol and other chemicals.
Canada’s chemistry industry is facing a shortage of domestic NGLs, in part, because of the massive growth of shale gas development in the U.S., and the subsequent drop in Canadian gas production and exports.
To counteract the declining exports to the U.S., CIAC believes that Canada must develop new export markets for its natural gas, while implementing policies to extract further value from its NGL resources. Alberta’s Incremental Ethane Extraction Program is an example of a successful value-added policy that has improved the chemistry industry’s access to competitively priced feedstock.
CIAC will continue to advocate for access to, and transparency about, the NGLs contained in Canadian natural gas destined for export markets. Canada’s chemistry industry has the potential to expand and create new jobs and wealth for Canadians, provided that it can access the competitively priced raw materials critical to its growth.
Canada’s chemistry industry is very dependent on our country’s railway system – with over two-thirds of its annual shipments moved by rail.
The safety and security of communities along transportation routes is of paramount importance to the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada and its members. Because of that, CIAC will continue to be a strong voice for policies and initiatives that support the safe transportation of chemical goods by rail.
In addition, CIAC will continue to advocate for improved rail performance, as legislated under Canada’s new Fair Rail Freight Service Act . The level of service offered by Canada’s railways can make the difference between companies investing in our country, or taking their business elsewhere, making better customer-railway partnerships essential for job creation, trade expansion and economic growth.
Canada’s chemistry sector is poised for growth, but faces strong competition for global investment.
Although chemistry is Canada’s fourth-largest manufacturing sector, our country produces only one per cent of the world’s annual $5 trillion worth of chemical products. Canada is a less-than-obvious choice for international investors, who tend to think of the U.S., China or Europe when considering new chemistry-related investments.
However, Canada’s global competitiveness has improved dramatically in recent years. The Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance has helped the chemistry industry to secure more than $3 billion in new incremental investments, since it was first introduced in the 2008 federal budget. The federal and provincial governments have also worked hard to bring Canada’s corporate tax rate down to about 25 per cent (from the 38 percent of a decade ago), allowing us to compete more effectively with other jurisdictions.
CIAC will continue to advocate for policies that will improve Canada’s competitiveness, and support its members in making a strong case for bringing new investment here.