CARI’s 78th Annual Convention brought attendees to “New Horizons” at the Fairmont Tremblant, in Mont-Tremblant, Québec. This year’s program boasted a number of changes, including a condensed schedule with extra sessions, a designated area for attendees to network and hold meetings, and a Casino Night on the final evening in place of our traditional closing banquet.
Our first day brought beautiful weather for golfers enjoying the links at local course, Le Diable, followed by the chance to network with exhibitors and other attendees during the Exhibitors’ Welcome Reception that evening.
Friday morning began with our Annual General Meeting, where Matthew Zubick, of John Zubick Ltd, gave his Chair’s report. Matt explained that CARI staff had been working hard to improve association events, expand communications, and launch a new member service. He also encouraged attendees to help promote the recycling industry and described changes to CARI’s upcoming fall chapter meetings.
After Matt’s speech, President Tracy Shaw took the floor to discuss CARI’s advocacy work over the past
year. CARI’s lobbying efforts were diverse, and included working with Canadian officials to advocate for the recycling industry during meetings related to proposed amendments to the Basel Convention. Changes to the Basel Convention could restrict and control scrap exports and redefine who can call themselves recyclers.
Following our AGM, the world’s first neurologist in space, Canadian Dr. Roberta Bondar, gave her keynote presentation. Bondar’s speech was out of this world and down to earth all at once. She described how crucial it is for space travellers to adapt to new and disorienting circumstances, explaining that humans must be treated as ‘old dogs’ that can be taught new tricks.
Dr. Bondar emphasized how critical it is to be flexible and continuously changing in order to push our boundaries and deal with a world that is anything but straightforward. She also spoke about what a space debris recycling industry could look like, and impressed upon attendees to take control of the current recycling media narrative.
Following the keynote, our Trade Panel session focussed on challenges of the current global trade environment and opportunities for expansion to new markets. Adina Renee Adler, Assistant Vice
President, International Affairs at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) provided an update on the status of USMCA, 232 tariffs, and how changes to the Basel Convention could affect Canadian recyclers. Brenda Swick, Lawyer at Cassels Brock LLP, discussed some factors that need to be considered when looking at new markets, such as free trade agreements, treaties, and sanctions.
After our Trade session, Bob Ballantyne, President of the Freight Management Association of Canada led
an Operations session focused on transportation and logistics that covered changes to Canada’s Transportation Act and how these changes affect shippers.
Saturday morning’s interactive Town Hall session saw attendees discuss a wide range of issues such as cannabis in the workplace, misuse of cellphones, and challenges with training new hires and creating a safety culture. Participants also spoke about various incidents that happened at their yards that seemed impossible to anticipate or plan for. Claiborne Thornton, President of Industrial Environmental Consultants opened the session and Matt Zubick, CARI Chair, moderated the group discussion.
CARI’s Communications Manager, Marie Binette gave a brief presentation during Saturday’s luncheon which demonstrated how to access CARI’s online Members Area and highlighted a new member benefit, our Regional Resource Pages.
Our Industry Panel focussed on economic trends and challenges facing Canada’s ferrous and aluminum sectors. Marc Desormeaux, Economist at Scotiabank, provided a global economic forecast. Pierre Boisvert, VP Operations at Albecour Inc., spoke about the North American primary aluminum sector, and John Harris, CEO of Aaristic Services Inc., discussed the Canadian ferrous scrap market and global trade dynamics.
Rather than a traditional formal banquet on our final evening, CARI hosted a Casino Night. Attendees enjoyed an evening of casual food and drink while trying their luck at blackjack, roulette, craps, or Texas Hold’em. Beginners were welcome, with all players being given chips and no real money needed to play. At the end of an exciting evening, one prize was awarded to the night’s biggest winner, and all other participants were entered into a draw for the ‘snake eyes’ prize. It was an exciting end to another successful convention.
[Photos courtesy of Megan Quinn, reporter at Scrap magazine, Jacques Schoenberg, Attar Metals & CARI staff]
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CARI would like to thank all of our sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and attendees. Check out our events page for upcoming events, and we look forward to seeing you at next year's convention in Halifax!
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