VICTORIA, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The Cement Association of Canada (CAC)
is expressing its extreme disappointment with the decision of the B.C.
government not to change how the carbon tax is applied to the cement
sector in its 2014 budget.
"The way the tax is currently structured is jeopardizing the
sustainability of B.C.'s cement industry," says CAC President and CEO
Michael McSweeney. "On behalf of our cement manufacturing members in
B.C., we want to express our disappointment. The unintended consequence
of this government inaction is that jobs and economic development are
at serious risk."
Under the current structure, only domestically manufactured cement pays
the carbon tax; imported cement coming from the US and Asia is exempt,
creating an unfair advantage for foreign producers.
"As it stands, the way the carbon tax is structured is costing B.C.
jobs, and putting our domestic supply of cement, critical to the
government's ambitious economic growth goals, at risk," says McSweeney.
The B.C. cement industry, which consists of Lafarge Canada and Lehigh
Hanson, has traditionally provided more than 2,000 family supporting
jobs across B.C. Local producers have lost nearly a third of the market
share to imports since the inception of the carbon tax in 2008. B.C.
cement facilities are now running at only 65% of capacity, compared to
five years ago when they were running at near full capacity.
"That the government of B.C. has chosen to not correct the critical
deficiency of the carbon tax after having acknowledged that it is not
working is very disappointing. We have been working with government
officials to find a solution for six years, and we will continue to
look for opportunities for further discussions," concludes McSweeney.
About the Cement Association of Canada
The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is the voice of Canada's cement
manufacturers. The industry provides a reliable, domestic supply of
cement required to build Canada's communities and critical
infrastructure. The CAC and its members are committed to the
environmentally responsible manufacturing of cement and concrete
products. CAC's members are: Ciment Québec, ESSROC Italcementi Group,
Federal White Cement Ltd., Holcim Canada, Lafarge Canada, Lehigh Hanson
Canada and St Mary's Cement Group. The cement and concrete industry
contributes more than $8 billion in annual sales and over 27,000 direct
and indirect jobs to the Canadian economy.
SOURCE: Cement Association of Canada
For further information:
Cement Association of Canada
T: 613-236-9471; ext. 211