VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) welcomes the federal government announcement today of measures to support forestry workers and communities impacted by the duties imposed by the U.S. on softwood lumber.
“BC lumber producers welcome the announcement today of measures to support forestry workers and communities during this trade dispute, as well as promoting forest sector diversification, overseas marketing and innovation,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council.
“This package is a prudent response that can provide both immediate support for workers and communities if required, along with enabling additional investments in longer-term opportunities for the sector,” added Yurkovich. “We particularly appreciate the investment in expanding markets for Canada’s high-quality forest products overseas which will help to further diversify our markets.”
“We know that the federal government, including the Prime Minister, Minister Jim Carr, Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister François-Philippe Champagne, continues to make softwood lumber and the forest sector a top priority,” said Yurkovich. “They, along with industry and provincial governments, are doing everything possible to defend our interests on softwood lumber.”
“The BC Lumber Trade Council continues to believe that reaching a new agreement is in the best interests of producers and consumers on both sides of the border,” added Yurkovich. “However, in the absence of an agreement, we will continue to work alongside the provincial and federal governments to vigorously defend our industry. With government and industry standing together, we know we will be successful as we have in the past.”
B.C. is the largest producer of softwood lumber and represents about 50 per cent of Canadian exports to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is the cornerstone of the provincial economy, and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.