Federal BC New Democrats Calling on Liberals to Protect Forestry Jobs

NANAIMO – To ensure BC’s forest industry is protected after the expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the United States, today New Democrat Members of Parliament from British Columbia called on the Liberal government to act.

Concerned that the Trudeau 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 workers in British Columbia,” said NDP Natural Resources Critic Richard Cannings, Member of Parliament for South Okanagan—West Kootenay. “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.”

“Canada’s forest industry provides good, family-supporting jobs in our communities,” said Nanaimo—Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson. “Harmac Pacific pulp mill in Nanaimo is a perfect example. Between the value-added jobs, employee ownership, and the renewable energy component, it’s a real point of pride for us in the community.”

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.

“We need to fight for Canada’s forestry sector in trade negotiations to protect these well-paying, community-sustaining jobs,” said Malcolmson. “New Democrats are committed to manufacturing and processing industries and will not stand by and let workers suffer.”