The composite Panel Association:
Levelling the Playing Field for Canadian Businesses through Regulatory Change
The Composite Panel Association (CPA) represents almost all manufacturers of particleboard, medium density fiberboard, and hardboard across North America. The CPA represents the composite panel industry on technical, regulatory, quality assurance, product acceptance issues, and in advocacy matters.
Over the last ten years, the CPA and its members have successfully lobbied the United States government to bring forward a favourable regulation on formaldehyde emissions standards, applicable across the United States. This standard is already voluntarily followed by all Canadian manufacturers, but the recent US regulation also opened the door for overseas manufacturers to send their non-compliant materials to be sold in Canada. This would negatively affect the Canadian businesses as they must compete with more supply and cheaper imports.
The CPA engaged Impact to lobby the Health Minister to enact a regulation harmonized with the US Environmental Protection Agency regulation, which would shut out non-compliant imports while continuing to provide a uniform emissions standards for the North American market.
Impact developed a campaign-style approach that began with testing the appetite of the Minister to bring forward this regulation. The Minister was initially unwilling to dedicate time and move this forward. In light of this, Impact worked to build an extensive network of parliamentary partners, connecting CPA member plants with their local Members of Parliament, organizing plant tours and outlining the economic impact and local workforce. These MPs-across all party lines-formed a caucus to work together on the regulation.
Following these efforts, Impact identified a composite caucus member with a priority position for Private Members Business, and convinced the MP to table a motion in support of the harmonized regulation.
Impact continued to work with Health Canada and all relevant MPs to ensure that the motion received unanimous support. Through these efforts, in 2017 the Minister of Health reversed their earlier decision, and has started moving forward with the completion of an expedited harmonized regulation