PG MP Takes Softwood Lumber Concerns to U.S. Capital
Prince George, B.C. – Cariboo-Prince George Conservative MP Todd Doherty says Canadian jobs continue to be at stake without a new Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber agreement in place.
As co-chair of his party’s Softwood Lumber Task Force, he and his colleagues were in Washington D.C. earlier this week hammering home that point.
“We talked to Democratic and Republican legislators as well as non-partisan consumer groups and we wanted to drive home the importance of this agreement,” says Doherty.
“It also comes back to my riding which I believe is representative of rural ridings right across Canada and being able to tell the stories of the pine beetle epidemic that hit our region. That our communities and regional economies are dependent on resource based industries like forestry.”
He says another goal of the visit was to reach out across party lines to get “this back on the table and have the U.S. Lumber Coalition withdraw their petition (for higher duties against Canadian softwood lumber producers) and have that dialogue.”
He says with the federal government’s rejection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project this week, it leaves workers in the forestry sector in northern B.C. even more vulnerable to future mill closures.
“We had 31 First Nations that had signed on as equity partners, it would have provided jobs and opportunities for our First Nations that would have been unprecedented,” he says.
“And now I’m always optimistic but if we would’ve talked the other day, I was very disappointed, very frustrated with this government which appears to have once again forgotten about rural Canada.”