Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to speak to the committee today.
I represent the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers, a grassroots group of primarily small to medium-sized businesses that formed last year out of a concern for the business impact on not having competitive energy pricing within the province. I also am the vice-president of our family company. We employ 86 people in Scarborough, Ontario. We have developed many patents for corrosion coatings. We currently do corrosion coatings for the U.S. Navy. They send parts up to us to coat, we send them back; and they have done that because we hold the patent. We have also developed environmentally friendly ways of stripping plastic and coating existing pipelines that have PCBs or asbestos. We do it all in an environmentally friendly way.
We started the coalition a year ago because our energy pricing is not competitive. We are paying three times the energy and electricity pricing than we would in neighbouring states, who have all been trying to attract us to move our businesses down there for years. We've resisted because we're proud Ontarians and proud Canadians, but right now, with the way energy pricing is going, we're at a tipping point.
As for how the coalition came together, I had attended a conference on cap and trade, and I became quite concerned about the impact of cap and trade on our competitiveness. Immediately I started to do some research. I'm a mother; I have children; I wanted to understand. I wanted to make sure there was a clean environment for them, so I immediately did some research. I found out that in Canada we contribute less than 2% to greenhouse gas emissions, and in fact, we are as carbon neutral as you can get.
I couldn't understand why we were putting our businesses at risk—small to medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy—and why we would go down this path of burdening our small to medium-sized businesses with cap and trade, with three times the electricity prices that we would have in another state, given the fact of our global contribution to greenhouse gases.
I have in front of me a proposal from New York state to bring our business to them, and my 16¢ per kilowatt hour, which is in U.S. dollars, would be 6¢ per kilowatt hour. That would save me over $25,000 a month, and that quickly adds up to pricing the Ontario energy policy right out of the marketplace. It really impacts businesses that are making decisions today on whether they move, whether they move their growth, which Shalini is going to talk about, or whether they close—or whether they have finally had enough. We're seeing companies within the small to medium-sized businesses sell out to large international companies.
So in terms of some of the unintended consequences of our energy policy, we are seeing an economy that may be well controlled not by Canadians but by international companies and outside forces. I think that's not going to be a good phenomenon for Ontario.
We need a direction to energy pricing that understands that businesses are what fund all of our public policy. There seems to be a narrative, first in Ontario, and now federally, that businesses are the bad guys. We're the ones that employ people, that allow people to pay taxes, and allow for policy to move forward. Without us there aren't any of those things.
We need an energy policy that's realistic in respect to our greenhouse gas contribution to the world and realistic in order to keep businesses thriving. We are blessed that we are a nation with natural resources. Instead of adopting a policy that reflects countries that don't have natural resources, we should have a policy that allows us to continue to grow, utilizing our natural resources in a responsible way. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is lots of new technology and innovation in carbon capture that allows us to both grow our economy and grow our businesses, to have an energy policy and pricing that's competitive with the United States, and also have a green environment.
We can achieve all of those things. One only needs to look to St Marys Cement. In terms of greenhouse gas contributions, cement companies are very large in the global contribution to greenhouse gases. St Marys Cement, through their technology with Pond Technologies, is going to be one of the first global contributors to a carbon-neutral cement factory. We should celebrate and embrace that, and move that forward.
When I hear Catherine McKenna say that we're going to electrify everything, that concerns me, because I don't believe that there will be companies able to compete globally, and we're not embracing the natural resources that we have been gifted with in this country. We need to focus on areas where our businesses can compete, because I am seeing an alarming rate in Ontario of businesses moving or losing growth.
I'm going to turn it over to Shalini to talk about her company, which is an amazing company with an amazing story.