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Trudeau Government has failed the Canadian forestry sector: Conservative MPs

Posted On 2021-10-12 00:00:00

October 12, 2021

OTTAWA, ON – The Liberal Government has failed to strike a new softwood lumber agreement with the United States to replace the one-year interim deal that officially expired this afternoon, leaving thousands employed in the forestry sector across Canada anxious and uneasy. 
“Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government have failed Canadian forestry workers and their families,” said Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George.  “Without a new softwood lumber agreement in place, Canadian forestry operations are faced with the prospect of costly U.S. duties on lumber that will force producers to shut down. From the forest to the mill, almost 400,000 well-paying, high-quality forestry jobs are now at risk.” 

“Negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement has never been a priority for this government,” said Randy Hoback, Official Opposition Critic for Canada-U.S. Relations.  “It was not included in the Trade Minister’s mandate letter and now after a year in office they have failed to get it done.  Saying that it was a tough deal to negotiate is a poor excuse to offer to the families who will lose their livelihoods.  After promising a deal by one hundred days after the Prime Minister’s trip to Washington in February, the Liberals were unwilling to put in the hard work to actually deliver on their promise.”

“The Prime Minister has failed to make a commitment to the Canadian forestry industry and his failure will affect every region of the country,” said the Hon. Denis Lebel, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party.  “From British Columbia to Quebec, and certainly including the Maritime provinces, each province could face significant job losses. This is particularly worrying in my riding, where about 70% of the economy is dependent on the lumber industry. The imposition of new tariffs on lumber exports would have devastating effects on an already fragile economy and it is unfortunate that Justin Trudeau and his Liberal colleagues remain unmoved by this situation.”

“The Liberal government’s failure to get a new softwood lumber deal across the finish line is just another example of Justin Trudeau’s selfie international trade policy,” said the Hon. Gerry Ritz, Official Opposition Critic for International Trade.  “After a year in government the Liberals still refuse to take a decision on the TPP and the CETA with the European Union is under threat.  Canadian exporters deserve stability and predictability from their government.”

The last softwood lumber dispute cost the Canadian forestry sector $5.3 billion and was settled by the previous Conservative government negotiating an agreement within three months of coming into office in 2006.


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