At CSPA, a large part of what we do is public policy advocacy - promoting the pro-manufacturing policies, programs, and regulatory mechanisms that will strengthen the sustainable success of Canada’s $12-14 billion steel industry, which directly employs some 25 thousand Canadians in several provinces.
Our policy agenda (http://canadiansteel.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Public-Policy-Agenda-20121.pdf) is extensive, and in political terms, it is non-partisan. We need and seek the support of Members of Parliament (MPs) from all political parties on Parliament Hill.
An especially valuable forum working with MPs across the political spectrum is the Parliamentary "Steel Caucus", a multi-party Committee of MPs from across the country, who have taken a particular and welcome interest in our industry. While political differences can and do exist on particular issues, in Steel Caucus they work to develop a common understanding of developments in our industry, and where they can collaborate on steel-related policy issues. Meetings of the Caucus include presentations and discussion with people in the industry, including CSPA of course, but also other parts of the industry, union representatives, and outside experts.
CSPA works collaboratively with the Caucus, especially through the Chair, to advance our shared interests in a strong Canadian steel industry. Under the Chairmanship of David Sweet, M.P. for the Hamilton-area riding of Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, the Caucus has taken an active interest in several areas:
- Worked co-operatively on our "NewSteel" initiative in 2010, to put renewed focus on the future of Canada's steel industry as we emerged from the serious impacts of the economic recession
- Participated in our annual "Steel Days" on Parliament Hill, including meetings with the senior leadership of Canada's steel industry
- Held an interactive session with Dr. Peter Warrian, University of Toronto, on his 2011 research study on Canada's steel industry. This study was the first independent and comprehensive look at the industry following its major transformation and its emergence from the recession
- Met with the Canadian Welding Bureau, which needs the kinds of high-quality, competitive steel products that our members produce
- Supported the functioning and importance of Canada's trade remedy system, a top public policy priority of CSPA and other manufacturers
With Mr. Sweet now also serving as Chair of the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, he made the decision recently to pass the torch at Steel Caucus to Sault Ste. Marie M.P. Bryan Hayes. Two of CSPA's members -- Essar Steel Algoma and Tenaris -- are major employers in Bryan's hometown, making steel a cornerstone of local and regional economy.
CSPA congratulates Bryan on being appointed the new chair of Steel Caucus. We also wish to express our appreciation for David Sweet's leadership of the Caucus these past few years, and for his continued participation in the Caucus. And we take this occasion to thank again all members of the Caucus, from all parties, for their continued support for the further development of Canada's steel industry. There is much work ahead, and we look forward to building our relationship with the Steel Caucus under Bryan Hayes' chairmanship.
- Ron Watkins