Government Lobbying & Representation
CHHMA actively lobbies federal and provincial governments on issues affecting our members. In the last four or five years the CHHMA has been more active in government affairs and lobbying than probably at any time in the Association’s history. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say our governments have been more active in our affairs. Various levels of government across the country are introducing environmental and health & safety legislation at an alarming rate and harmonization is not one of their key objectives.
The CHHMA follows proposed and draft legislation at both federal and provincial levels and, where applicable, representation is made at appropriate levels through consultation and advocacy. This ensures that the industry's point of view is heard by governments.
The CHHMA, along with a coalition of other associations, lobbied for several changes to the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and were successful in getting changes made in a number of areas where we felt the language in the new Bill presented a concern for members.
The CHHMA, as part of CEWRO (the Coalition for Effective Waste Reduction in Ontario), lobbied the Ontario Government for amendments to Bill 91, the proposed new Waste Reduction Act for Ontario, which as drafted, would have created unnecessary costs and provide municipalities with considerable authority over producers. The Bill dies when the last Provincial election was called but the Association will continue to monitor new legislative efforts in this area going forward.
The CHHMA also regularly provides submissions to the Federal Standing Committee of Finance, Competition Bureau and other committees where public input is sought.
In addition to our lobby efforts, the Association’s role includes informing and educating our members so they can keep on top of all the changes and be able to deal with these issues.
The CHHMA functions as the voice of manufacturers not only to government but trade related associations and our retail customer base also. We actively maintain relationships, and hold advisory positions, on various industry committees. Meetings are regularly arranged with major wholesalers, retailers and other trade associations in the industry. Many of our educational and social activities also encourage increased dialogue with all segments of the industry, and are open to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers alike.
CHHMA has lobbied retailers with positive results for fair play and reasonableness on a number of issues including term discounts on GST as well as fines and chargeback’s on unreasonable service level expectations. The Association’s efforts have been very successful and saved members many millions of dollars. In 2008, 2010 and 2012, the CHHMA released a position papers to members on increased costs versus Canadian dollar gains which members used in customer negotiations.
Recently, the CHHMA has represented our members' concerns over the plan by several key retailers to adopt GS1 Canada's data synchronization management services and we continue to monitor the initiative and are working towards an open, competitive, global playing field that can offer a lower cost solution for our members.
Product and Packaging Stewardship Representation/Consulting
The CHHMA has played a key role in product and packaging stewardship programs across the country.
Waste management and product recycling fall under provincial responsibility and as such there are a number of different programs going on simultaneously across the country. With that in mind one of our key messages to the various provinces is slow down and look at harmonization. Through the efforts of the CHHMA and other trade associations we at least see them becoming more open to discussions.
The CHHMA, along with several associations involved with consumer products, formed another coalition and have been lobbying other governmental departments such as Finance, Industry and Premiers’ Offices, asking for further review and a go slow approach to introducing stewardship programs.
CHHMA was involved in the consultation process of the Ontario Waste Diversion Act passed in 2002. This act designated consumer product brand owners, importers and franchisors of materials that become “Blue Box waste” as “obligated stewards” who must register with and pay fees to an Industry Funding Organization (Stewardship Ontario) or face penalties. All companies that introduce packaging and printed paper into the Ontario consumer marketplace are required by law to share in the funding of 50% of the province’s municipal Blue Box Waste diversion programs. CHHMA actively lobbied the Ontario Government for a fair and simpler Blue Box Funding Program when it was introduced in 2004. At the time, CHHMA developed software for calculating fees which is now recommended by Stewardship Ontario and later Eco Entreprises Quebec (EEQ), Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) and Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW). The original Stewardship Ontario calculators would have resulted in members paying more than required.
CHHMA hosted seminars in Toronto and Montreal to assist members in understanding their obligations. Consultants (see Stewardship Help page) were provided to assist our members with any questions and compliance in the programs. Almost half of CHHMA members have used this software or have been assisted by CHHMA in becoming compliant.
CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford was elected to the Stewardship Ontario Board of Directors in 2006 ensuring that the interests of the Association were well represented. When the Ontario Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program was being developed, Mr. Crofford also served as the initial Chairman of the Governance Committee to ensure MHSW stewards were represented on the Stewardship Ontario Board and had input into the MHSW program development.
The CHHMA, along with the Canadian Appliance Manufacturers Association (CAMA) and Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), guided our members and retailers in the development of the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association (CESA) and a successful launch of the portable appliance and floor care product recycling program in Brtish Columbia, followed by a power tools program.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
Electronic products (televisions, computers, monitors etc) have been the lead categories in all provinces where there are programs in place or in development, including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and NS. With the exception of Alberta’s government run program, the rest have been developed and managed capably by the not-for-profit steward’s organization called Electronic Product Stewards Canada. CHHMA has few if any members involved in this type of product.
Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste (MHSW)
Several Provinces have programs covering a range of products such as paint, solvents, antifreeze, used oil and filters, single use batteries, pressurized containers such as propane cylinders and fertilizers, non-automotive batteries, aerosols, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, mercury switches and devices containing mercury along with other things not sold by CHHMA members. Waste collection and diversion plans have been developed to keep certain household and special wastes from landfill.
As in the WEEE program, CHHMA members cross over numerous categories of MHSW products and we will continue to monitor and participate in plan development on behalf of our members. Watch for updates in our newsletters or Government Watch bulletins.