Canada's Steel Industry Sets Sights on the Future

New Steel Campaign Recognizes Industry Champions

OTTAWA, April 6 /CNW/ - Canada's steel industry is more innovative, greener, and more important than ever to the future of the national and local economies, said Ron Watkins, President of the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) as Canada's steel industry kicked off its "New Steel" awareness campaign.

"Few Canadians realize the significant transformation that steel has undergone," Watkins added. "It's one of the most important and progressive industries in Canada, and throughout the world. We hope Canadians will come to recognize just how essential steel is to the Canadian economy now and for future generations."

The New Steel campaign aims to close the gap between outdated perceptions of the industry and the reality that Canada's new steel industry has made tremendous achievements that position it in the top tier of product quality, productivity and environmental responsibility.

Brains

Approximately 30,000 people are employed in Canada's new steel industry. These jobs increasingly require men and women with post-secondary degrees in engineering, science, and advanced industrial trades. The highly skilled steel workforce, combined with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in new technologies, has seen the productivity of Canada's steel industry increase over the past two decades.

Hamilton area Member of Parliament David Sweet, Chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus was named a "Man of Steel" by the CSPA for his personal efforts in supporting and promoting Canada's new steel industry.

"This is an industry that employs thousands of highly skilled Canadians, that creates four spin off jobs for every single job in steel, and generates approximately $14 billion in annual sales," said Sweet. "Canadian steel is a national industry that has made a tremendous contribution. It's time we recognized that."

The steel industry is an important local employer in several communities in Canada. Its employees also give back to communities by donating their time and millions of dollars annually to health care, education, sports and recreation.

The Best Material

Canadian steel industry innovation continues to generate new advanced grades of steel, many of which are thinner, lighter and stronger. New steels have helped to reduce the weight of vehicles by 25%, thereby improving fuel efficiency and therefore reducing emissions. New Steel also plays an important role in Canada's construction and energy sectors, and is an essential material in renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, solar thermal- panels, and tidal energy devices.

Canadian steelmakers have also reduced the energy required to make steel by more than 25% (per tonne shipped) over the past two decades. Not only is steel leaner, but greener as well. Almost 8 million tonnes of steel were recycled in Canada in 2008. That's enough to produce the equivalent of 8 million new cars. Steel is an exceptional material - it is the most recycled material in the world, and can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength.

Backbone

Steel is the backbone of Canadian manufacturing, essential to the industrial, transportation, construction, energy and natural resources sectors, generating 120,000 direct and indirect Canadian jobs and supporting a network of suppliers and distributors. Steel is one of the most widely used materials in the world. It's all around us, in everything from appliances to packaging. Rarely a day goes by when we don't see or feel steel.

"New steel is important to Canada's future. It stands for brains and backbone. It's the best material for so many applications," added Watkins. "It's an industry that has been transformed in Canada and around the world. Steel is a vital, progressive industry that plays an essential role in the lives of all Canadians."

The Canadian Steel Producers Association is the voice of Canada's new steel producers. The member companies of the CSPA produced over 15 million metric tons of steel in 2008 from 13 facilities in five provinces. To learn more about the CSPA and New Steel, please visit: http://www.canadiansteel.ca/index.php/en/about

STEEL MAKES CANADA STRONGER

SOURCE CANADIAN STEEL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

For further information: For further information: Danna O'Brien, Playbook Communications, danna@playbookcommunications.com, (c) (416) 500-0699; Ron Watkins, President/Président Canadian Steel Producers Association/L'Association canadienne des producteurs d'acier, (613) 238-6049

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CANADIAN STEEL PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

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