Feds Release Forestry Aid Package
Prince George, B.C. – The Federal Government has unveiled its plan to aid workers and communities that maybe hit by the impact of the softwood lumber dispute.
Facing countervailing duties that could cripple some producers, the plan provides $867 million dollars in measures to support forest industry workers and communities through:
- loans and loan guarantees of up to $500 million to help viable forestry companies with the Business Development Bank of Canada making $105 million in commercial financing available to eligible forestry companies in the short and medium term.
- investments to diversify forest products and markets, to increase the industry’s resilience to these unfair trade actions and promote its long-term health.
Additional measures announced today include more than $260 million in new funding to:
- support efforts to expand overseas markets and promote the diversification of Canadian wood products beyond those targeted by U.S. duties on softwood lumber;
- help Indigenous communities and organizations improve the performance of their forest sector initiatives;
- provide a temporary extension of the maximum period for Work-Sharing agreements from 38 to 76 weeks in order to reduce layoffs; and
- expand supports to help affected workers upgrade their skills and transition to new opportunities.
The Government of Canada continues to press the United States to rescind what it calls an “unfair and unwarranted trade action” and remains confident a negotiated settlement is not only possible, but in the best interests of both countries.