October 2011

Message from the Executive Director

 

Hi all,

Premier Alison Redford's new cabinet was sworn in on October 12, and is a mixture of new faces along with MLAs with previous cabinet experience.  The makeup of that cabinet is as follows:

Minister

Ministry

Alison Redford, QC, Calgary-Elbow

Premier, President of Executive Council, Chair of Agenda and Priorities

Doug Horner, Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert

Deputy Premier, President of Treasury Board and Enterprise

David Hancock, Edmonton-Whitemud

Minister of Human Services, Government House Leader

Ted Morton, Foothills-Rocky View

Minister of Energy

Verlyn Olson, Wetaskiwin-Camrose

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Deputy Government House Leader

Fred Horne, Edmonton-Rutherford

Minister of Health and Wellness

Ron Liepert, Calgary-West

Minister of Finance

Thomas Lukaszuk, Edmonton-Castle Downs

Minister of Education

Diana McQueen, Drayton Valley-Calmar

Minister of Environment and Water

Jonathan Denis, Calgary-Egmont

Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security; Deputy Government House Leader

Cal Dallas, Red Deer-South

Minister of International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations

Evan Berger, Livingstone-Macleod

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Frank Oberle, Peace River

Minister of Sustainable Resource Development

George VanderBurg, Whitecourt-Ste. Anne

Minister of Seniors

Ray Danyluk, Lac La Biche-St. Paul

Minister of Transportation

Jeff Johnson, Athabasca-Redwater

Minister of Infrastructure

Doug Griffiths, Battle River-Wainwright

Minister of Municipal Affairs

Greg Weadick, Lethbridge-West

Minister of Advanced Education and Technology

Jack Hayden, Drumheller-Stettler

Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation

Heather Klimchuk, Edmonton-Glenora

Minister of Culture and Community Services

Manmeet Bhullar, Calgary-Montrose

Minister of Service Alberta

 

With respect to NCIA's work with the province on the cumulative effects files and the Land Use Framework files, it will take some time to sort out what this new cabinet's priorities are.  The newly named Ministry of Environment and Water under Diana McQueen suggests that there will likely be an enhanced focus on water going forward.

These are certainly interesting times, and NCIA remains committed to working with the various multi-stakeholder groups that we are active on (air and water specifically) to achieve balanced frameworks in support of sustainable development in the Heartland.

 

Cheers,

Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dow Canada Awarded Commercial Industry Award

 

Dow Chemical Canada ULC received the 2011 Commercial Industry Award from the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce as part of the annual Business Awards Gala, which took place at the Dow Centennial Centre in Fort Saskatchewan on October 19, 2011.

“Industry is very important to the growth and prosperity of Fort Saskatchewan,” said Conal MacMillan, Executive Director of the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “Dow has been a true leader in the community and we were happy to be able to recognize that leadership through this award.”

For 27 years, the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has recognized the achievements of the business community over the previous year by presenting outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs with awards.

“This year, we are proud to be celebrating 50 years of operations in Fort Saskatchewan,” said Joe Deutscher, Site Director Alberta Operations. “Throughout the past 50 years, we have strived to be actively involved in the community and the various business, professional, and industrial associations in the area. We’re proud to be recognized for this engagement.”

These awards recognize businesses that have demonstrated excellence in their business operations in a number of areas such as innovation, environment, community relations and human relations. In addition, businesses must demonstrate the following:

The evening hosted more than 280 guests representing a wide range of businesses in the City of Fort Saskatchewan and Dow was proud to share the pride of their achievement with their community members.

 

NCIA member companies earn recognition for their environmental leadership

Through Alberta Environment’s Partners in Resource Excellence program, some of NCIA’s member companies were named EnviroVista Leader and EnviroVista Champion this year in recognition for environmental excellence.

A facility that is named an EnviroVista Leader has demonstrated a minimum of five years of approved emissions performance has in place an audited environmental management system and has had no Alberta Environment prosecutions in the past five years.

EnviroVista Champions are facilities who have met the Leader criteria and have also committed to a Stewardship Agreement. The NCIA member companies who received these honours were:

In fact, Umicore has been ranked 5th in the 2011 top 100 of the world’s most sustainable companies published by  Corporate Knights, an independent magazine focused on promoting sustainable development. 

The seventh edition of the Global 100 includes companies from 22 countries encompassing all sectors of the  economy, with collective annual sales in excess of 3 trillion U.S. dollars, and five million employees. 

The ranking is based on 10 key performance indicators, including capacity to innovate, senior management  remuneration, diversity and productivity related to a set of environmental factors.

For more information: www.global100.org

 

How cold weather affects air quality

 

When the weather gets cold enough, exhaust from vehicles and homes becomes a very visible mist in the air. Is all that vapour simply more visible to the eye, or is the level of pollution actually greater in the winter? The answer is yes to both questions.

Some sources of pollution, like industrial emissions, stay fairly constant throughout the year, no matter what the season. But roaring fireplaces and wood stoves and idling vehicles in the winter all add up to higher levels of particulate matter (the particles that make up smoke) and carbon monoxide (from vehicle emissions).

On top of this, cold temperatures and stagnant air have a way of creating a build-up of these pollutants near the ground, particularly during a weather phenomenon called temperature inversions. In other seasons or weather conditions, warm air sits near the ground and the air can rise easily and carry away pollutants. In a temperature inversion, cold air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warm air. The warm air acts like a lid, holding these pollutants down. During a temperature inversion, smoke can’t rise and carbon monoxide can reach unhealthy levels. From an air quality perspective, storms are a welcome weather event. Wind, rain and snow storms are sometimes called scrubbers because they help clear out and disperse these pollutants.

Most of the time during the winter, the ambient outdoor air quality in the Fort Air Partnership airshed stays within good or low health risk ranges, as measured by the Alberta Air Quality Health Index. If AQHI readings do increase in the winter, it’s generally due to the temperature inversion phenomenon.

Indoor air quality also becomes a greater concern during the winter because of the amount of time that people stay inside with poor ventilation. Without adequate circulation, carbon dioxide levels can become an issue, leading to headaches and lethargy. Generally, outdoor air quality is better than indoor air, so the best antidote is to get outside regularly, open windows for short periods if possible and keep fireplaces and ventilation systems clean and maintained.

Learn more about air quality in the Fort Air Partnership airshed. Sign up for Fort Air Partnership’s e-bulletin. Visit www.fortair.org for details.

 

NCIA People Profile: Mike Normandeau

Mike Normandeau’s connection to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland has spanned close to four decades and can be traced over four generations in his family. He was raised here, and he intends to raise his family here. Mike values the many opportunities available in the region offering many different lines of work. Equally, Mike also appreciates the lifestyle that living in the Heartland affords community members. “We have access to countless amenities while still maintaining a small town feel,” Mike said. 

Since 1996, Mike has worked for Dow Chemical. When he first started out, Mike became a Loading Technician after four years working on site as a contractor. Following this, he transitioned into positions in Operations and Site Logistics and worked as a Site Productivity Scheduler responsible for all rail and truck activity until arriving at his current position of Power Trader/People Systems Coach. Reflecting on his own personal experience, Mike commented, “At Dow, there are many opportunities to take on different roles within the company. As for my current position, I was attracted to the challenge and the possibilities for growth and career advancement it offered. I also really enjoy working with people.”

During Mike’s time working in human resources, he has participated in the development and implementation of a succession plan hiring strategy to help manage attrition the company forecasted in the upcoming years resulting from staff retirement. “We were fortunate enough that the company acknowledged this upcoming shortage, and we aggressively hired ahead of the curve,” said Mike. “We worked closely with the local colleges and universities and attended career fairs all in an effort to attract and retain local talent. I believe that people from the area want to stay here, and choose a career and not just a job, and Dow can offer them that.”

Over the time Mike has lived in Fort Saskatchewan, he has witnessed a number of changes. One of the biggest changes he’s seen is the exponential level of growth and development in the city. “Although the city has tripled in size, its feel hasn’t changed,” said Mike. One of the things Mike tells potential new hires is that Fort Saskatchewan is both a great place to live and raise a family. He hopes that the region can continue to grow at a moderate pace while still maintaining everything the community presently offers—exceptional services, great facilities and infrastructure.