Dear CASF Member and Industry Supporter,
Happy New Year! It was an interesting, exciting and surprising year for many of us! 2017 promises to be another year of triumphs and tribulations. One thing is certain… expect the unexpected.
As your newly elected President I’d like to welcome you to the first edition of President’s Corner. Twice per year your CASF President will provide some high-level commentary on our industry, the Association and its future direction. I am happy to report that CASF is as strong as ever, financially stable, and thanks to the efforts and support of our members and our volunteers we have an excellent plan moving forward.
By most accounts, the Surface Finishing industry in Canada is thriving in the East (Automotive, Aerospace, Industrials), but still struggling in the West (Oil, Gas, Mining, Paper, Commodities). For all exporters across the nation, the weaker Cdn dollar is having a positive impact on the bottom line. But challenges remain that are both regional (provincial tax and environmental legislation for example) and national (tightening environmental legislation, taxes, and high deficits). Trying to navigate the onerous regulatory landscape within our industry is becoming increasingly challenging. CASF has strong ties with local, provincial and federal regulatory bodies and our CASF Government Liaison, Stephanie McCallum works diligently and cooperatively with them on our industry’s behalf.
Here are some of the regulatory highlights over the past year and what to expect in the coming year:
- In 2011 CASF and two member facilities approached the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to open discussions on developing an alternate air compliance option as allowed under the Ontario air regulations called a Technical Standard. CASF members actively worked for approximately 3 years with the MOECC to help develop a framework that would function for all facilities. In March 2016 the MOECC approved the Metal Finishers – Industry Standard. This was a very collaborative effort between industry and the government and it helped CASF develop a strong and credible relationship with members of the provincial government.
- Ontario facilities were tasked with trying to determine the compliance pathway as the Cap and Trade program was approved and took effect July 1, 2016. The Cap and Trade program has been a complex regulatory framework that has an economic impact on all facilities. This framework is not developed post 2020 and CASF continues to be active in discussions and providing written comments related to this regulatory framework.
- The federal and provincial governments were very active in 2016 and CASF provided comments back to proposed amendments to the NPRI for hexavalent chromium for reporting year 2018, an information gathering (Schedule 71) notice for hexavalent chromium, and proposed amendments to the Environmental Emergency Regulations. We are early into 2017 and have already seen that the government is continuing with their high activity level. They have published a notice to start an information gathering (Schedule 71 notice) for 1,500 substances plus they have issued a new Assessed Air EASR framework in Ontario. CASF will continue to and provide information on regulatory changes (new or proposed) in a timely manner. Your comments and feedback to the proposals is valued and appreciated.
The CASF is proudly representing ~70 members across Canada and growing. The CASF Board of Directors is tasked with creating value to our members – small and large finishing shops, professional service providers and suppliers. We rely on feedback from our members to continuously improve how the Association can better serve its members.
Some of the feedback we heard was to have more outreach across the country. In order to be a truly national association with outreach across the country we needed volunteers in those areas. Rob Newman, CEO of Moore’s Industrial Service Ltd agreed to become our Western Canadian ambassador in 2016 and we now have 9 members in western Canada. Likewise through Richard Thibodeau’s (CASF Past President) efforts we have created a stronger presence in the Province of Quebec. We are committed to being a Canadian Association uniting all of its members with one voice.
Education continues to be high on our priority list. We have made great strides in our efforts to provide networking and educational forums for our members.
Educational highlights include:
- CASF Conference 2017: It’s an excellent day of guest speakers, Association updates and industry networking. Mark your calendars – CASF Conference 2017 will be held on Wed. Nov. 15, 2017. Our planning committee is once again hard at work preparing a first-class list of speakers and content. More details will be published soon. We look forward to seeing you there!
- CASF Lunch & Learn series: These are association sponsored events about surface finishing related topics held in various cities across Canada. They provide a forum for education, discussion and discovery for those involved in the surface finishing industry. Following successful events in Toronto and Montreal, we held our first western Canada event in Red Deer, Alberta in 2016. This program will extend to Universities in 2017!
- Ken Lemke Education Scholarship: This was created in 2016 in recognition of years of Ken’s service and his desire for better education in the surface finishing industry. It provides funds and grants to members and the Association for industry related educational forums, events, and materials.
- CASF sponsored CEF course in Toronto: This course was very well attended and provided an incredible value to our members. Follow-up exam discussions and future courses are being discussed.
- Bright Design Challenge: The Bright Design Challenge is a lively, spirited design competition that connects young designers with major OEM design studios such as Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Polaris, Bombardier, and Ford Motor Co. The winners of the contest receive scholarships on behalf of the Association as the competition challenges students to balance style and function with electroplated and other finishes. The competition has promoted surface finishing within the transportation industry since 1999. The project has become an important educational and promotional event for the Surface Finishing industry.
As you can see, your Association has been busy! CASF recognizes the needs of our industry because we are the industry. Our members and our volunteers represent finishers large and small, suppliers, professional service providers, and individuals across the country. As a business owner with a long history in the surface finishing industry, I believe that we are stronger together. This belief is one of the driving forces behind the Association.
We want to hear from you! Your participation will help to improve and grow CASF. Please don’t hesitate to give us your feedback and ideas on how to make us better. We are always looking for new voluntters. You can reach me personally at [email protected] or general inquires can be sent to [email protected]
I look forward to a fast-paced and exciting 2017! Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing many of you at the CASF Conference in the Fall.
Canadian Association for Surface Finishing