Joint statement by Patty Hajdu and Don Rusnak on Softwood Lumber

Thunder Bay, ON – The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, today issued the following statement following the imposition by the U.S. Department of Commerce of duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products into the United States:

Thunder Bay – Superior North MP Patty Hadju

“Northern Ontario’s forest industry sustains thousands of good, middle-class jobs in communities across our region. Our government will always stand up for forestry workers and their families. We disagree strongly with the United States’ decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty that is bad for jobs, families and economies on both sides of the border. The forest industry is one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, and is critical to our region’s economic diversification.

Our colleagues Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, are taking immediate action to address the baseless and unfounded accusations made by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our government will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry. We are confident that a negotiated settlement that is in the best interests of both countries remains possible.”

Immediate actions include:

  • Ensuring companies take full advantage of existing financing initiatives under the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, which offer a range of financial services to Canadian businesses on commercial terms. These initiatives are available to exporters of all sizes and can assist companies looking to make capital investments, expand market opportunities, and diversify with confidence into new markets.
  • Promoting the use of Canadian wood right here at home. Budget 2017 provided $40-million for increasing wood use in Canada, allowing Canada to continue its world leadership in tall wood building development, partnering with industry and the provinces to build on successes such as the 18-storey University of British Columbia’s Brock Commons residence building, the tallest wood building in the world.
  • Actively working to help the forestry industry to access new markets. International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is currently with a delegation of Canadian lumber representatives in China, promoting Canadian products. Minister Carr will travel to China in June with forestry leaders, to build on this momentum. Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is currently in the United Kingdom and Europe promoting Canadian wood.
  • Supporting workers and their families. For people who are affected, we will provide employment insurance, support for retraining and education, career counselling, and more.
  • We also fund an additional over $3 billion in skills and job training supports that are delivered to people through their provincial governments. Indigenous workers who are affected can also access the additional education and job supports we provide through our Aboriginal Skills Employment and Training Strategy.
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