Regulation in serious need of modernization, CIAC tells INDU

Canada’s regulatory system often results in inefficiency, delays, administrative burdens and unnecessary costs to both government and business, CIAC President and CEO, Bob Masterson, told the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) February 7.

The comments were provided as part of a study on regulatory modernization in response to the Federal Fall Economic Statement in November.

Mr. Masterson targeted regulatory overlap and duplication, rushed regulation that does not take industry’s perspectives for achieving goals, uncertainty and timeliness in his speech to the Committee.

“Obtaining an approval in Canada takes an average of 249 days, about double the OECD average and triple the time required in the United States. Make no mistake, this reality is well-known globally and is a strong influencer on Canada’s foreign direct investment gap,” he said. “The study being undertaken by this committee is welcome and urgently overdue.”

He pointed to the implementation of the Chemicals Management Plan and Transport Canada’s multi-faceted approach to better managing risks associated with the transportation of dangerous goods as great examples of regulatory initiatives working well in Canada. He also noted that the Ontario government had started important efforts in this area with its comprehensive Red Tape Challenge recommendations beginning to be implemented by the current government.

CIAC members meet with three key federal ministers to discuss rail transport issues

On December 6 in Ottawa, several CIAC members, CIAC Director of Transportation, Kara Edwards, and three federal ministers met through Transport Canada’s Commodity Supply Chain Table to discuss the chemistry sector’s experience and views related to the national transportation network.

In attendance were Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi and Minister of Agriculture, Lawrence MacAulay.

Representatives stressed to the ministers the importance of maintaining a commodity-neutral perspective while working to find solutions to rail service issues. They also pointed out that with an increase in investment in the sector expected thanks to the positive support in the federal government’s fall economic statement, additional rail network capacity will be needed to move these new goods to market. Other areas of importance included continued support for the National Trade Corridor Fund and support for the new data becoming available from the Transportation Modernization Act. The first weekly reporting of metrics through the Act began on December 10 and can be accesses here.

Additionally, recent CIAC survey results were shared at the forum, highlighting how members in Western Canada are currently experiencing very challenging shipping conditions. Our industry noted the need to work collaboratively with all stakeholders throughout the commodity supply chain to best use resources to get products to market in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner.

The CIAC Rail Committee will continue to be the main venue to engage key stakeholders in this area and CIAC will be working with Transport Canada to better track our industry’s performance within the Canadian system going forward. For more information please reach out to Kara Edwards.

Le comité sénatorial comprend deux amendements clés au moment où le projet de loi C-49 est adopté en troisième lecture (En anglais seulement)

CIAC was pleased to see its two key proposed amendments included when the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications met to go through Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, on March 27.

The two amendments proposed by CIAC involved allowing the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) the ability to investigate on its own initiative and providing costing determination by the CTA in final offer arbitration.

As part of a group of key shippers promoting these two amendments, CIAC had the opportunity to discuss the proposed amendments with Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.

Bill C-49 has passed third reading in the Senate and will now go back to the House of Commons. CIAC does not expect the government to accept all the amendments made by the Senate, but we are working diligently to get our amendments through.

We will continue to work with Minister Garneau’s office and our rail shipper coalition partners to ensure the final bill is capable of addressing shippers’ long-standing concerns in these and other areas.

Bill C-49 will next return to the House of Commons, which is set to return on April 16.

When promulgated into force, CIAC will turn attention to working with Transport Canada to develop the necessary supporting regulations, and with Transport Canada and the CTA to ensure smooth introduction of the Act and related regulations.

More on the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications amendments to Bill C-49.

Watch the proceedings of the Committee.

Selon un sondage … Les membres du CIAC préoccupés par les interruptions du service ferroviaire sur le réseau du CN (en anglais seulement)

Canada’s chemistry sector relies heavily on rail transportation to move its products from production facilities to customers.  Significant issues since late November across Canadian National’s (CN) network have resulted in some negative impacts for CIAC member-companies. We decided to find out exactly what those were in a survey to members.

Initial results of CIAC members with production facilities across Canada show that seven had to curtail production in recent weeks due to rail service challenges. A total of 13 reported transportation challenges. These include all of the major shippers (more than 250 rail cars a week) and many of the intermediate shippers (between 50-250 cars a week).  Five companies have had near or actual shutdowns.  Eight members were forced to shift to other modes of transportation, when it was feasible.

It is also instructive that at least eight of CIAC members’ customers faced near or actual shutdowns.

Respondents also highlighted challenges around service issues such as last-minute cancellations; missed, delayed or partial switches; increased transit times; and inconsistent recovery plans.

The cumulative effects and larger financial impact when transportation networks fail to provide on-time service to producers is significant — responders say millions of dollars in lost product sales occurred.

CIAC has been saying for years the system needs to be able to respond faster. If we want new significant investment in the chemistry sector in Canada we need a safe, reliable and competitively priced rail service. 

This additional real-time information becomes extremely useful in recent and upcoming advocacy meetings with the government, Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency.

This is a busy time for CIAC on the transportation advocacy front.

On January 25th, CIAC met with Minister Garneau’s office.  The meeting focused on service issues, Bill C-49, and TDG and TRANSCAER®.

In the coming week, CIAC has a meeting with senior officials at the Canadian Transportation Agency and CIAC’s Executive Vice President, Isabelle Des Chênes, will be testifying before the Senate Committee on Transportation and Communication on February 6th.   CIAC’s comments will parallel previous testimony given to the committee of the House of Commons and will focus on stressing the importance of getting this Bill passed in an expedient manner.

Le Canada doit développer une infrastructure de transport de l’énergie pour rester compétitif à l’échelle mondiale (en anglais seulement)

The Federal Government initiated a review of Canada’s federal environmental and regulatory processes in 2016. Under this initiative, the Minister of Natural Resources established an Expert Panel to conduct a targeted review of the National Energy Board’s (NEB) structure, role and mandate under the National Energy Board Act.

The Expert Panel was tasked to engage broadly with First Nations, interested stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, as well as the public. The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) made a submission and David Podruzny, CIAC’s Vice-President, Business and Economics, made a presentation to the Panel at their Edmonton, Alberta engagement session on March 7. The consultation process wrapped up on March 31 and the Expert Panel will submit its recommendations to the Minister by May 15, 2017.

Why is NEB Modernization important to Canada’s Chemistry Sector?
Canada’s chemistry industry is an important contributor to our nation’s economy. It converts and adds value to raw resources such as natural gas, crude oil, minerals, and biomass, creating intermediate products that are used as inputs in other areas of the chemistry industry, and by almost all other manufacturing sectors.

Collectively the chemical sector in Canada is responsible for taking almost 21 per cent of domestic gas consumption and converting components such as methane and ethane into high value petrochemicals such as methanol and polyethylene.  In addition, almost 70 per cent of CIAC members’ shipments are in the area of petrochemicals. Robust energy transportation infrastructure is key to chemistry sector growth in Canada.

Highlights from CIAC’s submission: 

  • Canadians derive significant benefit from the reliable and safe pipeline infrastructure that is in place across this country.
  • Canada’s long-standing record of science based, objective assessment and decision making under the NEB has allowed this country to develop our world class energy reserves in the national public interest in a sustainable way.
  • Parliament has the responsibility to develop broad public policy positions for the good of the country. The permitting process should not be the forum for public policy debate, and such debates should not be allowed to delay timely adjudication of project applications.
  • Government policy decisions and directions should influence projects before they get to the application stage at the NEB, not during. We view certainty of public policy and process as key influencers in the sustainable and orderly build out of pipeline infrastructure in Canada.
  • Public Participation expectations should be addressed through improved communication, transparency, and openness of the process, but not at the expense of procedural fairness, science-based objective assessment, and set timelines for reviewing applications.

Details on the Expert Panel Terms of Reference and Engagement Process:

CIAC’s submission to the Expert Panel:

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