Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski called wants the Liberal government ensure that BC’s forest industry is protected after the expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the United States.
“We are calling for loan guarantees for softwood producers that would help provide certainty to the tens of thousands of forestry works in British Columbia,” Stetski said in a statement released on Tuesday, February 21.
Stetski and the 13 other New Democrat MPs from British Columbia are concerned that the government does not have a Plan B in place in case the United States brings duties against Canadian products, they are calling for federal loan guarantees for softwood lumber producers.
“During the last softwood dispute we saw a lot of damage done by American duties all across our region,” Stetski said. “We don’t want to see this repeated. I have been speaking with family run mills in our area, and there is a lot of concern. This government says they are working for the middle class, so I am asking them to take steps to protect these community-sustaining middle class jobs.”
Last week the provinces of Ontario and Quebec called on Ottawa for loan guarantees to protect softwood lumber producers and jobs in forestry communities when the US imposes new duties.