250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 6:47 pm

Ottawa Sets Up Task Force on Softwood Lumber

Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  The Federal Minister of Natural Resources has  announced  the creation of  a Federal-Provincial  task force on Softwood Lumber.

The task force, announced yesterday by Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr,  will share information  on the possible impacts  of  the trade actions launched in the United States,  and how best to  help workers  and communities that may be impacted.

The task force  is focused on work  within Canada’s borders,  while  the Minister of Foreign Affairs   will lead the  softwood lumber  file  with the U.S.

“We really  appreciate Minister Carr’s  initiative in establishing this task force” says B.C.’s Minister of Forests Steve Thomson.  “It will be focused on  looking at what steps we can take collectively  to respond to workers and communities  affected by   the U.S. Trade action.  So this  is focused on  how we manage the situation once, and when, preliminary  duties may be applied.”

There is a real concern  the  duties  could  force some mills to reduce production,  causing layoffs,  or  in a worst case scenario,   shut down the operations all together.  Minister Thomson says no  one knows just how much the duties might be, “What we do know is  the we need to  be prepared and ready to respond”.   Minister Thomson  says  the federal and provincial governments are expecting  the  duties will have an impact “Depending on the  levels and severity of the duties.”

But  the task force will need to be  careful in  what  type of actions it may choose to take,  as  they don’t want to be seen to be  “subsidising” the industry,  which is one of the allegations made in the trade dispute “That will be the work of the task force, that will be the purpose.  The work will be to  examine what options, or what steps, may be,  or can be taken  that don’t create  that situation but that will assist our industry, communities and our workers.”

Many communities in the  interior  which rely on forestry are already facing  a challenge   because of the  expected reductions in the annual allowable cut, the extra burden  of duties  could be a tipping point for some  forestry  companies  and that fact is not lost on Minister  Thomson “From a  Provincial perspective when  we look at how we respond to the  application of duties ,  obviously those  communities are facing fibre reductions through  AAC redeterminations,  it will all be part of  our discussions.”

It is expected the  U.S. will impose tariffs on softwood lumber  from Canada  by the end of April.   The  task force   is expected to  start meeting  face to face ” in the not too distant future”  says Thomson “Everyone understands the urgency of this work , and given the importance of  forestry to B.C.’s economy, a very important initiative  for us.”

Softwood lumber exports were valued at $8.6 billion in 2015 nearly 70% of that lumber went to the United States.



And the question is who is on this task force? still waiting for the Billion from the Cons under Harper to help with the Mountain Pine Beetle effects on workers. Looks more like a P-R job with Industry and Bureaucrats. Everyone new there could be a tariff months ago. leadership in BC all about the election and looking good its sickening.

Another Task Force! Wonder if they will accomplish as much as they did last time? Shouldn’t be a problem as nothing was settled and still at the forming stage of more rhetoric. They do accomplish something though, spending taxpayer’s dollars!

Good news is the US housing industry is feeling the Trump wealth effect already with the stock market up 10% in the first month and housing starts at the largest since Feb 2007. They may be looking at a shortage of lumber this summer tariff or no tariff and how do you put tariffs on a commoditity trading at all time highs?

Also would be interesting to see some studies into what we grow in our forests and do we have room for other products like hardwood that grows faster for furniture, or fiber for petroleum chemicals. With global warming can we turn a forest over twice as fast as before with species varieties better suited to a warming climate?

    I think Trump strategy is to let this issue wither on the vine under a growth policy that sees a better market and no reason to promote a tariff on building supplies who return is at a record high anyways.

another feel good project with no teeth

This Liberal Government Softwood Lumber Task Force is not to be confused with the mighty Conservative softwood lumber task force, folks.

ht tps://www.250news.com/2016/10/17/pg-mps-named-to-softwood-lumber-task-force/

Hmmm… I wonder if Conservative MP’s Doherty and Zimmer will be appointed to this Canadian Softwood Lumber Task Force? This would give us an indication on how closely the Liberal Government and the official opposition are working togeather on this file, would it not?

All your going to get from this task force are meetings and press releases. Industry will take any funding they can get worry about effect later, forest communities and workers will be left with another transition plan to train people for jobs that don’t exist. Seen it so many times over the years, we are without question in a terrible place right now.

Millman55. There are thousands of jobs available for displaced forestry workers. I see help wanted signs at Timmies and A&W all the time.

    they would probably be “over qualified” as the hiring people like to say as an excuse not to hire

Millman55 are you working now? If you aren’t and have you been trying to get hired on at one of the existing mills? Why are you not getting employment? The local mills are all struggling to find any sort of qualified applicants. I do the hiring at a local mill and we cannot fill the positions as they come available. We “settle” for an employee most of the time and hope they will work out. If you are unemployed and looking for work in a local mill there must be something seriously wrong with you if you do not have a job. Or are you just BH under another screen name???

Millman55 have to agree with you. Ryder if you are doing the hiring please tell what positions that you can not fill because I know someone who is looking for work. What worries me is that before an election many places will be putting out ads in the paper etc for employment when they do not intend to hire anyone. Makes it look good for the BC Libs.

    Yes businesses do this every election

Someone I know who lives in “one” of the many communities in the area that are hemorrhaging jobs and losing people, came into PG a couple of months ago. He visited every single sawmill, and pulp mill in the area, most places wouldn’t even take his resume.

He even told them how far he drove, and could they at least take his resume… nope, apply online. Another friend of mine has been looking for work for half a year, lives in PG. Nothing but $14 to $15 per hour jobs and they are NOT in any of the sawmills or pulp mills!

There are no sawmill or pulp mill jobs to be had, but keep up the false positive spin Ryder!

    I’m thinking that Ryder is talking mostly about positions that require some skill and not broom pushers.

    I am not going to name my employer. These are mostly entry level – cleanup positions. Tradesmen positions right up to shift supervisor. Google sawmill jobs Prince George. Indeed is an excellent source for mill jobs. Canfor has production jobs all the way up to control Technician. We have entry level jobs unfilled right now that I cannot get filled. Grading ticket and level 3 first aid will get you to the interview stage every time. People looking for work should arrive to the interview with clean clothes, clean hygiene and a little background on the company. You would be surprised how many are late, reek of marijuana and say no to shift work. The younger generation is the worst. “Why should I work for you?”. We do not even require grade 12. We had to give up on drug testing because most failed. It makes you very cynical when this is the type of applicants you recieve

      75 jobs on Canfor’s website right now. I don’t think I’ve ever saw that many jobs for Canfor advertised at one time. If you want a mill or mine job get that level 3 FA Ticket as well worksafe has lots of free online safety training.

    And you believed them? Always two sides to a story. Some folks just don’t want to work.

One worked heavy equipment in the log yard, the other worked production various position, hardly “broom pushers”!

    BH in a union mill log yard equipment operators and inside the mill is bid positions. It takes years of seniority to obtain an operator position. Your “friend”. would have to start back at the clean up position if you applied at a new mill. Sorry not “you” but your “friend”.

      ht tps://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=Mills&l=Prince+George%2C+BC

      An opportunity to be on the “job board” for production at Isle Pierre, and another one for Canfor Prince George. WHY ARE THEY EVEN POSTING FOR THESE POSITIONS??? Everyone knows they have nearly 100 applicants who have already submitted their resumes for production jobs, my friends included!

      Must be insulting to all those people who have already submitted their resumes and applied at Canfor over and over, only to see these job ads appear asking for even more applicants… something smells here!

      Ryder, very true. My job when I started in Mill work was clean up, just happy to get the job. 8 months later I was bucking and debarking. Loved it.

Enlighten me because I could very well be reading this wrong but.. last week wasn’t everyone complaining about the BC Liberals talking SLA when it’s “supposed” to be a Federal issue? Now that the federal government is doing something, everyone is complaining again? I’m sure I’m missing something here…

BH. The only thing that smells is you know it all attitude. You ever think the 100 applications they have are the same 100 I see everyday? Get a level 3 first aid ticket = interview. It’s simple. If you don’t mind living in Vanderhoof you could start at Canfor Plateau next week. Move to MacKenzie and start next week. Just have some basic training (first aid), be presentable and don’t be a total disaster and you will start at $28 plus an hour.

From what I have heard to get employment with many of these mills you need to be a relative or a friend of someone who is already working there. The person I know said they already had a stack of resumes.

    It certainly helps to have a respected current employee vouch for you but we avoid hiring family members. Too many strings attached.

I get it now! Usually to apply for a First Aid Attendant job, you need a level 3 OFA First Aid certificate… but to apply for a production job, you need OFA level 3??? Wow, guess there are so many applicants, they can raise the bar and insist their “production workers” all have Grading Tickets AND OFA Level 3!!!

We all know sawmill production positions do NOT require OFA Level 3 Certification, nor a Grading Ticket (except if your are a grader), but so many have applied, with so few jobs available, they get to raise the standards… it would seem!

Now I get it, and that is why my friends with years of sawmill experience are are not getting called up for production work. Thanks, I will let them know, they are wasting their time. LOL, need a grading ticket, do you know how long that course is, and how hard it is to past the written and practical exams? Same with OFA Level 3 all for what? Working a stacker, or bin sorter? LMAO!

    BH I was 17 and just graduated high school. I was applying at Winton Global planer mill on River Road. Went everyday trying to get a job. A good month of this, one day the secretary pulled me aside and told me to get a grading ticket and then RE apply. I signed up that day for the course. I wanted a job. Took the course with no mill experience what so ever. Had no idea how the wood was produced. Studies hard and committed 2 weeks to it. I passed and received my ticket. I was hired 3 weeks later. This ticket I got 25 years ago has turned into a $150,000 a year career. Hard work and not waiting for someone to hand me something goes a long way.

      Love it when truth speaks.

      So you have worked hard for two weeks in your life. Hero cookie for Ryder.

      How about an oil patch worker that has had every entry level course that has been thought of from food safe to heavy equipment operator. If the name on the application is not Johnson, will Ryder still grant them an interview ?

    A stacker operator makes over $30 an hour. Maybe your “friend” should get off his ass and get some training. Oh I forgot just sit at home and wait for someone else to provide for him. Loser.

So a little work by the applicant to make $70,000 a year is too much to ask? What a loser attitude. Grading course is 2 weeks and COFI has a course running right now. First aid is 2 weeks and most have a guaranteed pass- write the exam until you pass. These courses are certainly not mandatory but at least they will get you ahead of the rest. Your attitude that maybe an employer is looking for a little effort from a possible employee explains your screwed up perspective on everything. Do a little work to get ahead. This is called life.

Ryder, don’t waste your time explaining life and reality to BH. He is down in the States with a mask on protesting everything.

To be a First Aid attendant in a sawmill requires OFA Level 3, why would the local sawmills require “production workers” to have it. Further more, if every production worker was to have OFA Level 3 First Aid Certification, why even the need to hire First Aid Attendants, all the production workers would be just as qualified as them?

I overlooked something in one of your comments Ryder, “OFA Certification AND Grading Ticket” JUST TO GET AN INTERVIEW!!! It doesn’t even guarantee a person the job, but it gets them an interview.

Employer’s are suppose to set qualifications and standards that are “bonafied occupational requirements” of the position!!! I can tell you right now, possessing an OFA Level 3 First Aid Certificate AND having a Grading Ticket ARE NOT the bonafied occupational requirement for a sawmill production worker position!

If any of the applicants can prove they have been screened out of a competition, or passed over, because they do not possess qualifications that are NOT a bonafied occupational requirement of the position they are applying for, I would recommend they contact a labour lawyer!

    it’s because they are looking for competent responsible employees for the long term. Both the OFA 3 and grading tickets are a good bar to set because to have them means you have taken on some responsibility. Even though a production worker might not end up a FA attendant, with OFA 3 it sets them up with a higher incident command level and priority action approach if an incident happens in a high risk industry (sawmill, forestry, mines etc..). The days are gone of just showing up to a mill expecting to pick up a shovel or pull off the green chain without taking on responsibility. Unless you want to work for a jippo outfit where you might loose a few digits limb or life.

BH. You live in an absurd world. All i’m saying is if you want a leg up get some training. These are the two things Mills look for. Mills don’t have just first aid attendants. They are production workers. A grading ticket shows you have some knowledge of lumber. Several jobs in the mill require grading tickets, not just grader men. You have no idea about anything and just spout off. Tell your “friend” to just wait at home with no upgrading or effort. I’m sure the job offers will start rolling in any day.

Well, if there is one thing that has come out of this exchange between us on this important subject; all those laid-off sawmill workers in Quesnel and Houston who worked for years, if not decades, before they were laid-off… if any of them applied at the local sawmills, and have NOT received any offers of employment, despite their years of experience as production workers, now they know why!

When you have an over-supply of unemployed sawmill labourers looking for work, and there are a very limited number of available sawmill production worker positions, the employer’s get to call the shots, and can raise the bar for standards required to fill those positions!

What a bizarre spin Ryder puts on this sad situation.

    One of your more intelligent posts BH. Sounds like you may have figured out the supply demand relationship. Their is no seniority for a new hire. As Ryder has made very clear, you need some way to move up above the rest. Just because you spent 30 years making buggy whips doesn’t mean you get a position at a auto company.Get it? Your being told how to get an interview by someone who knows and you, true to form, think the world owes them a living. As I posted earlier Ryder. Don’t waste your time with a dingbat like BH.

The bar is not very high and over half of those laid off employees would already have most of the training that would help them get another job. The employer has the right to set the bar wherever they want. It is the job seekers responsibility to obtain the skills required to gain employment. This is not put your name in get a job, the employer wants the best candidate. Good thing it wasn’t a competition for you to receive a job as with your attitude the job should be just given to you because you applied

Sometimes you do not get the best candidate -you get the one that will kiss b%%%.

    I’m sure that’s how you were employed oldman. You couldn’t have been hired for a functioning brain.

BH and Millman this was almost 30 years ago that it required me to get a grading ticket to get a leg up on the other applicants. This being before Christy Clark and the liberals caused the 30,000 job losses you guys are always crying about. Well if there was 30,000 more jobs then and everything was so great why did it take me getting a grading ticket to get the job? Probably it showed the employer I was serious about getting the job and had enough determination and brains to jump thru a few hoops. But you two just wait for it.

    My OFA 3 & log scaling licence didn’t open doors for me.. it kicked them open..!! Went from forestry to mining now I make close to $90k per year..And sometimes even with those tickets I had to do a few dirt jobs no one else was willing to do for the experience. lots of opportunity out there but you gotta grab it. You don’t climb the ladder of success with hands in your pockets. Now I await the rebuttal from BH lol..!

      90-k a year ? What did you do wrong ? Ryder makes 150-k a year to play angry birds. LOL….

      @Digitus.. probably 30 years more experience Ryder has on me.. lol.. either way I’m happy..

Digits putz you are the insulting BH screen name? I make more than $150 just didn’t want to come off as an ass like you. As north man says get off your couch, get some training, don’t be scared to work and you will be successful. Now DI go back to rubbing your mother’s bunions on her feet so that she let’s your 45 year old pathetic excuse live in her basement.

    Hahaha….that’s sweet. Now you make more than $150 a year !!
    Well, myself, I have some Saudi friends that build office/condo towers and they pay me millions to put my name on their buildings. If you ever make it to a big city, stay at the Impudicus Towers.

    ‘kay….lets hear some more B**L S***T from the ever so successful, yet anonymous Ryder.

      DI it’s really not that hard to make very good money in the forest industry. And no I’m not going to name my employer for you trolls to drag thru the mud. I knew your “job” for your “Saudi ” friends is bs because you have no friends and obviously no job.
      If you ever would go get some training and a job, worked hard and had any sort of intelligence you would see that there is a lot of room to make money.

      DI we have union employees that make upwards of $115,000 per year. They work a lot of overtime and work hard to pull in that. These are the same people that jumped thru a few hoops to get the job, worked hard, where reliable and wanted more. They didn’t just wait around with their hand out.

Time to end play time with you lazy takers. Some of us have to work in the morning.

Hmmm… to get a leg up over all the experienced laid-off sawmill workers, I would need an OFA Level 3 AND a Grading Ticket. Hmmm… and to get a leg up on those applicants?

Hey I have a valid Primary Care Paramedic License issued by the Emergency Medical Licensing Board, that beats OFA Level 3 Certification. I also have a 2 year Forest Technician Diploma, that beats a Grading Ticket!

Does this qualify me to operate a broom and shovel so I can move some sawdust around in your sawmill Ryder? Yeesh!

    Actually no it doesn’t..

    With your qualifications you would get an interview but I’m sorry to say the aptitude test is designed to weed out weirdos. So no job for you.

    With your qualifications you would get an interview but I’m sorry to say the aptitude test is designed to weed out weirdos. So no job for you. Back to trolling.

No BH. You won’t get hired because your a sanctimonious goof. You will be a cancer on every job site and nobody likes you. You are not hireable for any position. Stick to your paid spamming.

Comments for this article are closed.