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October 27, 2017 8:42 pm

PG MPs Named to Softwood Lumber Task Force

Monday, October 17, 2016 @ 9:42 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Two Prince George MPs have been named to the Conservative party’s new Softwood Lumber Taskforce.


Conservative Party of Canada announces its Softwood Lumber Taskforce in Ottawa Monday – photo submitted

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty and Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer are among six Conservatives on the taskforce which the party says has been created to hold the Trudeau government accountable in its softwood lumber trade dispute with the United States.

This after the federal government failed to strike a new softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. to replace the one-year interim deal that expired last week which the party says has left “thousands employed in the forestry sector across Canada anxious and uneasy.”

“We are a group of MPs who are tired of the Liberal government mismanaging this very important file,” says Doherty. “We will make sure the Liberals don’t forget about the workers and communities affected by their trade war. We will talk to companies, workers and community leaders from coast to coast to coast, bring them together, and see if we can chart a path forward to solve this problem.”

The Conservatives say the last softwood lumber dispute cost the Canadian forestry sector $5.3 billion and was settled just three months after Stephen Harper became prime minister in 2006.

The other taskforce members are:

Cheryl Gallant – Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

Denis Lebel – Lac-Saint-Jean

Randy Hoback – Prince Albert

Gerry Ritz – Battlfords-Lloydminster


Likely they’ll find there is no path forward to solve the problem. The US industry doesn’t want to lose any more market share to Canadian mills than what it takes to make up enough of the normal shortfall in their own domestic productive capacity. If the price of softwood lumber rises too high due to a persistent shortfall, the entire lumber industry risks losing market share to alternate products. So they do need ‘some’ lumber imports, barring a change of policy in the US in regards to the way they manage their National Forests. Which is unlikely, even though such a change could make them internally self-sufficient in softwood lumber. But they’re not going to just sit and watch Canada, with our low dollar, undercut them and take more than what they believe should be our ‘normal’ share of their market. It’s unlikely there’s going to be ‘sunny days’ ahead for the Canadian lumber industry selling into the US.

I wonder, during its ten years as a minority, and then as a majority, government, did the Conservative Government ever pay this much attention to the softwood lumber agreement?

    There was no reason to. There was a signed softwood agreement.

    They brokered a deal 3 months into their first term after the liberals couldn’t and this time the Liberals had their entire first year to broker a deal but failed, look it up

BeingHuman…….probably not… they are just trying to be visible as much as they can… Not like it’ll make any difference…hhaahhah

BeingHuman/Stillsmokin. Read the article. The last softwood lumber agreement was signed by the Conservatives. A lot of people did not agree with it, however it did get us some money back, and also got us approx. 6 years of peace with exporting lumber.

We now face a more serious situation and the liberals better get of their collective asses and get an agreement or we could be facing some serious mill closures in BC.

    The previous agreement actually expired while the Cons were still in government, they just decided to allow the 1 year extension to happen and then blame the liberals for no action. There is no way the US government is going to agree to anything right now, way too distracted with an election…just like the cons were last year leading up to the expiration of the agreement.

    No matter what the Libs do, there wont be an agreement until late spring at best, maybe even next fall. Election and then inauguration and then putting people in place.

      The liberals had enough time to figure out how to legalize pot. Maybe they should have been working on something more important.

      The last election was October 19th, 2015. The softwood lumber agreement expired October 12th, 2015 with a 1 year standstill period.

      The American election is long but not a year long. The election excuse started mid summer when they couldn’t broker a deal

      Seems there is always an election excuse. Why is it the Conservatives were able to broker a deal 3 months into taking office last time after the Liberals failed to deliver?

      This task force may be the best idea yet

      slinky asks the question; “Why is it the Conservatives were able to broker a deal 3 months into taking office last time after the Liberals failed to deliver?”

      Perhaps the Harper Conservative, Alberta oil and gas industry backed, government would eagerly signed a softwood lumber agreement with the US to pave the way for a reciprocal Keystone XL oil pipeline approval from the US government? Hey, you just never know!

Palopu–Many mills have already closed and it was not because of no softwood lumber agreement. The government better get out and plant more trees because we are running out of fiber.

Fate. In order for your analysis of this situation to be right, the Conservatives would have to know that they would lose the election, and that the liberals would win, and therefore have to handle the file. I doubt that was the case. More likely the USA was not interested in negotiating a new agreement until the last possible moment, if for no other reason than the put pressure on us.

oldman1. We will see what is left of our fibre once the Liberals release the annual allowable cut. However we still need to sell our lumber, and at this point in time our number one customer is the USA. Without them we are in deep doggy doo.

Palopu. With our low dollar we should not have any problem selling our lumber to the U.S. People will be crossing the border and taking it back by the truckload.

    From one old man to another .

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. Ancient Greek quote .

Although Trump will be a protectionist, I have never heard him say he would put tariffs on building supplies. He is more concerned about the higher end manufacturing in the rust belt states, then he would be about places like Georgia and Oregan that don’t vote for him.

    Geezus Eagle….you can’t even spell OREGON !!

      You and tRump claim to know good words, yet you continually screw up the word “lose”.

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