Advocacy for the Printing Industry

Alliance of Manufacturing in BC

Some of the Association representatives of the new Alliance for Manufacturing in BC were on hand at the reception put on by the Surrey Board of Trade to start of Manufacturing Month on October 2nd, 2014. From left: Fernando Borja, Society for Internationally Trained Engineers - BC; Marilynn Knoch, BCPIA; James Donaldson, BC Food Processors Association; Marcus Ewert-Johns, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – BC and Amber Papou, Skills Canada - BC. Check out all members at

BCPIA is a Charter Member of

Alliance for Manufacturing in BC

A strong common voice to raise the profile of manufacturing in British Columbia is the goal of the founding members of the Alliance for Manufacturing in BC. The manufacturing associations have agreed to work together to address shared issues and will endeavor to provide a greater understanding of the role that manufacturing plays in the BC economy. Manufacturing is a significant contributor to BC’s economy, yet it is often overlooked in favor of the stereotypical image of the province’s economy – forestry, mining, film, digital media and tourism. Manufacturing provides greater economic volume than each of these other industry sectors.

With more than 12,000 companies, manufacturing, is BC’s third largest source of employment, directly providing more than 180,000 jobs and indirectly supporting 200,000 more jobs. Last year, manufacturing was the fourth largest contributor to provincial GDP (7.2%). Manufacturing contributes more than 42% of private sector research and development expenditure and represents more than 30% of business taxes paid to the provincial government. Value-added manufactured goods comprise more than 62% of the province’s exports. It is not natural resource commodities, as is commonly believed.

The Alliance for Manufacturing in BC creates a coalition of like-minded manufacturing industry associations with a common vision to promote a world-class manufacturing sector in British Columbia. Those with an interest in ensuring a strong manufacturing sector include businesses in the design, printing, supply, material handling, fabrication and logistics areas; people-based organizations that train and develop skilled workers for high-paying jobs and community-focused chambers of commerce and boards of trade that recognize the significant economic contribution their cities derive from manufacturing.

“Most everything we encounter on a daily basis – what we wear, use and consume – is made by a manufacturer.” stated Thomas Foreman, President of the Building Supply Industry Association of BC. “With upwards of 88,000 job openings expected by 2020 we need to work together to promote and encourage people to pursue careers in noble and honoured manufacturing professions.”

“If one looks at the great economies of the world, they are founded and thrive on a manufacturing base.” said Marcus Ewert-Johns, Vice-President of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. “Manufacturing represents 20% of the economy in devloped countries like Germany, Korea or Japan. BC needs more manufacturing and getting there requires a stronger partnership between industry and government, and a plan.” Call Marilynn Knoch, Executive Director, BCPIA for more information.

Open Letter to BC MLAs

While the printing industry in British Columbia supports sustainable recycling programs in which the full life-cycle costs of a product are scrutinized, it strongly opposes the way the BC’s Ministry of Environment has established new regulations with little or no consultation with stakeholders.

The industry is extremely concerned with the stewardship plan set out by Multi-Materials BC. After months of unsuccessfully seeking information on what the plan actually means, the industry heard at a presentation by MMBC that the rates to be charged in BC are significantly higher than other provinces with similar programs (by a factor of four in the case of Ontario). This creates a risky economic proposition for BC. It has the potential to create adverse economic effects, especially considering Alberta and Washington have no such programs in place. Printing businesses and the people they employ would have to move out of the province in order to survive as those buying print seek alternative ways to reach consumers that circumvent the new regulations that come into effect in May.

We call for the Province to put a hold on implementing these regulations and on MMBC’s program until such time that proper consultation happens with key stakeholders in British Columbia. This could produce more favourable impacts over the long term without destroying an industry that delivers annual sales of $619.9 million dollars (Statistics Canada-­‐Manufacturing sales by subsector, by province 2011). The printing industry is a significant employer in the province of BC and an important stakeholder of any such stewardship program.

There was no consultation with members of the printing industry, BCPIA (the industry association) or any of the large paper merchants which supply the paper needs in the province. Information on the program was difficult to obtain and poorly communicated. It appears that the Ministry only consulted with MMBC which is governed by a Board made up of Ontario business interests: Unilever Canada, Metro Inc., Walmart, Tim Hortons Inc., Loblaw Companies Limited, Coca Cola Refreshments Canada and Procter & Gamble. Why would the BC Ministry of Environment think these Ontario-based businesses would really understand and care about businesses in British Columbia?

The MMBC program is flawed in every aspect. It does not adequately consider the administrative burden it will cause. It does not consider materials coming into the province directly through the mail system, creating gaps in the assessment of total volume going into the residential waste stream. It appears that the plan is to collect 80% of the revenue from the top 150 producers in the province. The costs will be passed back to consumers and the end effect on British Columbia is negative.

The program as it stands cannot be self-sustaining in the long term due to flawed and complex reporting guidelines, confusing rules, uncertain enforcement and audit procedures, loopholes relating to out of province mailed paper and packaging products entering the province and the excessive charges being applied to larger and already economically vulnerable producers. The program is inefficient in every aspect, from charging and collecting fees to its administration and compliance costs.

Please call your colleague the Honourable Mary Polak and tell her the MMBC program must be put on hold. It is appropriate that the government reviews the implementation of this program and broaden the discussion relating to its goals and desired outcomes. It is an important program, one that requires a well-considered solution based on feedback from all stakeholders in British Columbia not Ontario. The MMBC program is not the solution. Please tell her you are concerned for the program’s long term success and the negative economic impacts the new regulations will have on the province of BC.

For information please contact: Marilynn Knoch, Executive Director, BCPIA 604.542.0902 or www.bcpia.lorg

The British Columbia Printing & Imaging Association (BCPIA) is a trade association devoted to promoting and advancing the best interests of the printing industry. It is the voice of the printing industry in BC.

In this role BCPIA represents the industry with a number of provincial and muncipal government departments, agencies and crown corporations. The goal is to help make it easier for printers to do business in the province and to promote programs, guidelines and regulations that help printers compete in the global market.

BC’s printing and graphic communication industry provides a fine example of entrepreneurial spirit and dedication. Many of the printing operations are family businesses. BCPIA provides a catalsty to bring the common concerns and issues to the attention of policy makers and regulators.