The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is calling on the British Columbia government to change how the carbon tax is applied to the cement sector.
"The cement industry wants to be part of the solution to climate change through equitable application of the carbon tax," says CAC President and CEO Michael McSweeney. "We continue to push the government to live up to its own Budget 2013 and B.C. Standing Committee on Finance recommendations to examine the carbon tax and address the devastating impact on the cement industry."
After six years of inaction by this government, local producers have lost nearly a third of the market share to imports since the inception of the carbon tax in 2008. Imported cement coming from the US and Asia is exempt from carbon tax. This creates an unfair advantage for foreign producers, having a negative impact on climate, the Jobs Plan and investment in BC.
"The cement industry is vital to develop the required infrastructure for an LNG industry, mines, the Site C clean energy project, and the roads and bridges that keep our economy moving," says McSweeney. "BC is the only jurisdiction in the world that does not recognise Energy Intensive/Trade Exposed industries like cement and concrete".
The BC cement industry, which consists of Lafarge Canada and Lehigh Hanson, has traditionally provided more than 2000 jobs across BC.
BC cement facilities are now running at only 65 per cent of capacity, compared to five years ago when they were running at near full capacity, CAC noted. The domestic cement industry remains open to working with Government to find a solution and is not wedded to one option, it added.
"We have been working with government officials for six years, and will continue to do so, but our industry is running at a disadvantage while we wait for the government to take action. The BC Carbon Tax was designed to protect our environment, not to displace business and employment to jurisdictions that do not share BC's commitment to fighting climate change," concludes McSweeney.