Don and BC NDP MPs call on the government to protect forestry jobs


OTTAWA – British Columbia members of the federal New Democratic Party’s caucus today called on the Liberal government to ensure that BC’s forest industry is protected after the expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the United States.

Concerned that the Liberal government does not have a Plan B in place if the United States brings duties against Canadian products, they called for federal loan guarantees for softwood lumber producers.

“Loan guarantees for softwood producers would help provide certainty to the tens of thousands of forestry works in British Columbia,” NDP Natural Resources Critic Richard Cannings (MP, South Okanagan – West Kootenay) said. “During the last softwood dispute we saw the damage done by American duties all across our province. We don’t want to see this repeated. This government says they are working for the middle class, so we’re calling on them to protect these well-paying, community-sustaining middle class jobs.”

Last week, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec both called on the federal government for loan guarantees to protect softwood lumber producers and jobs in forestry communities when the U.S. imposes new duties.

“On behalf of our members, and rural, forest dependent communities everywhere, we are asking our government to work with forest products companies to establish mechanisms to provide loan guarantees to companies forced to pay these unfair penalties,” Bob Matters, Chair, United Steelworkers Wood Council said.

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