Softwood silence ‘inexcusable’

Last week, President Obama arrived in Ottawa to address Parliament.

He spoke at length about the partnership, values and shared economic vision between Canada and the United States.

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Absent from his lengthy speech was an update on the March commitment made between himself and the Liberal government to put in place a framework within one hundred days to deliver a new Softwood Lumber Agreement.

Those one hundred days have come and gone, and the Liberals have failed to act. In fact, the forestry industry remains as divided as ever, with small and medium sized forestry producers being pitted against large forestry producers at the bargaining table.

This means a return to costly trade disputes for industry, provincial and federal governments, price uncertainty for producers and consumers, and harm to the trading relationship between our two countries.

If the Prime Minister and his Liberal government were actually serious about trade, they would have worked more expeditiously to solve this issue and ensure that the Canadian lumber industry continues to support the hundreds of thousands of middle-class families who depend on this vital sector of our economy.

A failure to re-negotiate one of the most important trade agreements between Canada and the United States is inexcusable.

Unfortunately, the Liberal government is once again failing to stand up for the hardworking Canadians employed in the natural resources sector.

Todd Doherty, MP

Cariboo - Prince George

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