The new Canadian Plastics Industry Association will spend more than 50 percent of its members' regular dues at the regional level, according to a CPIA official.
CPIA has set up four regional offices to help it address local concerns and will channel a fixed fraction of a member's dues to national issues. Members can choose how the remainder is allocated among the regional offices in Toronto; Montreal; Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and Edmonton, Alberta. The national office remains in Mississauga, Ontario.
CPIA debuted Jan. 1 after the merger of the former Society of the Plastics Industry of Canada, the Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada and the Canadian Plastics Institute. Officials said the industry needed a more cost-effective group with regional focus.
CPIA will address regional and national issues through two strategic units. The environment, health and safety unit encompasses product stewardship, government relations, public image and support to members on related topics. Sandra Birkenmayer is vice president and general manager for the unit.
The industry competitiveness unit, headed by CPIA President Pierre Dubois, will deal with training and education, technology, trade, and taxation and financing. Members have access to each unit through regular dues.
Members also can participate in more specific issues through CPIA's 10 councils on automotive, construction, environment and plastics, flexographic, machinery, mold makers, packaging, the Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada, reinforced plastics and composites, and the Vinyl Council of Canada.
Birkenmayer said most councils will be funded through general members' dues. The environment and plastics and vinyl councils, however, are so large that extra funds are needed. Members who want to join those two councils will pay additional dues. Other councils also might require additional funding if major issues confront them.
Robert McInnes is director of CPIA's Atlantic regional office in Dartmouth. Odette Mercier heads the Quebec Region in Montreal. Faris Shammas in Toronto is director of the Ontario region. Sandy Sutton will split his time between the western region's offices in Edmonton, and Surrey, British Columbia.