General Market Commentary

The Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 5% on April 10, 2024, as it continues with its policy of quantitative tightening. The Bank expects the global economy to continue growing at a rate of about 3%, with inflation in most advanced economies easing gradually.

Meanwhile, the green economy and clean technology (cleantech) sector continues to grow. In Canadian cleantech: Powering progress, Export Development Canada offers insights into Canada’s environmental and cleantech (ECT) sector, the top players at home and abroad, and the federal government’s initiatives. The report also examines global trends and cleantech investment patterns.

Despite numerous challenges, including inadequate levels of private sector R&D spending, geopolitics and turbulent energy markets, the report indicates that Canada has a strong and vibrant ECT ecosystem, with the sector contributing $73 billion to the GDP.

Canada’s federal Finance Minister will table Budget 2024 on April 16, 2024. There is an estimated $16 billion in prior green transition pledges (largely tax credits) to be detailed in or around this budget.

Hot Sector News

This month we’re putting the spotlight on BIOREM Inc. (TSX: BRM). This leading Canadian cleantech provider is headquartered in Guelph, Ontario. It’s the home base of the engineering and project management teams as well as a field service department, but there are services available around the globe. BIOREM, which has been featured in this Market Watch column previously, has recently experienced a solid surge in stock value.

Over the past three decades, the company has established a reputation for providing reliable air abatement solutions, specializing in tackling the exceptionally difficult and universal problems of odor, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants.

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Similarly, BIOREM President and CEO Derek Webb, also has a reputation for providing reliable service to the industry. In fact, on December 4, 2023, the Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) presented Webb with the 2023 Skip Willis Memorial Award. The annual award is presented to exceptional people working in the environment space in Ontario.

The spirit of the award is to recognize those who, like the late Skip Willis, have gone above and beyond to promote collaboration between the industry and government and are leaders who demonstrate integrity, generosity, tenacity, and a track record for raising awareness about the environment sector in Ontario.

“I’ve been heavily invested in the cleantech industry in Ontario for three decades, so it was wonderful to receive that recognition,” says Webb of the award.

From left to right: Grant Walsom, principal of XCG, a Division of Trace Associates, presented the 2023 Skip Willis Award to Derek Webb, president and CEO of BIOREM (centre), with Member of Provincial Parliament John Yakabuski.

“We’re really pleased with the performance of the company,” says Webb. “When the current management team took the reigns, we had a lot of legacy issues to deal with, but we had a plan of how to address those issues and we formulated a strategy for growth. We’ve been executing on that strategy, which has been driving the performance of the company and the market reaction to that performance.”

He takes pride in providing practical goals for customers and shareholders. “In the investing community, there are so many projections that I see with hockey stick growth and it’s just not realistic,” explains Webb. “We try to provide a reliable view and the right guidance.” The market seems to be rewarding the company for that realistic reliability.

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About Us - BIOREM - Air Emissions Abatement

Founded in 1990, BIOREM is a global cleantech engineering company with one objective: engineer, design, manufacture and distribute the most innovative and effective air emissions abatement technologies in the world. Credit: BIOREM.

How does Webb and the team intend to maintain momentum? He shares two key focus areas.

First, delivering on the large backlog of projects. “There continues to be challenges that we didn’t see pre-COVID, like labour shortages for contractors, consulting engineers and legal services. There’s a lot of work to do and too few capable people to do it,” says Webb. “There are still inflationary pressures too, with steel, energy, resins, and plastics. These combined issues have a big impact on ability to deliver a project profitably. So, we’re focused on finding solutions to enable us to deliver on the backlog and capture maximum value.”

The second area of focus is to continue to apply pressure for the future – to support growth initiatives – and roll out the release of new product lines. Webb says a few are ready for commercialization.

“Keep an eye on BIOREM as we deliver on our backlog,” says Webb with his final words for the day. “We have some exciting projects and new products hitting the street.”

Today the stock price of BRM is $1.94.

Stocks to Watch

Here is a list of Canadian cleantech stocks that we are monitoring for this column. This list of public companies is by no means complete, and we are open to suggestions from our advisors and readers.

Name Symbol Price in $CDN
(March 15/24)
Price in $CDN
(April 15/24)
% Change  
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. AQN $8.19 $8.02 -2.08%
Anaergia Inc. ANRG $0.26 $0.30 +15.38%
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP $3.68 $3.93 +6.79%
*BIOREM Inc. BRM $1.40 $1.94 +38.57%
Boralex Inc. BLX $28.72 $26.82 -20.73%
*CHAR Technologies Limited YES $0.48 $0.41 -14.58%
Electrovaya Inc. EFL $5.22 $4.35 -16.67%
Engine No 1 (Transform ETF) NETZ $89.14 $82.41 -7.55%
EverGen Infrastructure Corp. EVGN $2.40 $2.14 -10.83%
Greenlane Renewables Inc. GRN $0.12 $0.11 -8.33%
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp LICY $0.99 $1.27 +28.28%
Loop Energy LPEN $0.17 $0.16 -5.88%
Northland Power Inc. NPI $22.41 $22.57 +0.71%
*Thermal Energy International Inc. TMG $0.28 $0.30 +7.14%
TransAlta Renewables Inc. RNW $12.48 $12.48 0%
UGE International Ltd. UGE $0.83 $0.78 -6.02%
Westport Fuel Systems Inc. WPRT $8.24 $7.90 -4.13%
Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. ZAIR $0.28 $0.33 +17.86%
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*The authors of this column own equity. It is not meant to be an endorsement, but simply a statement of this fact.

James Sbrolla is a veteran of the financial and environmental industries. Connie Vitello is editor of Environment Journal. To pitch an idea for an upcoming Market Watch column, or to suggest a stock, please contact


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