Minister Kathryn McGarry Re: Softwood Lumber Dispute

Statement from MPP Kathryn McGarry;

Minister Kathryn McGarry

“Our government fully supports our forestry sector and the critical role it plays in the success of the provincial economy. Generating over $15.5 billion in revenues and supporting approximately 172,000 direct and indirect jobs, the sector is a significant part of communities across the province.

I’m disappointed that the US Government has decided to impose unreasonable duties, putting unnecessary financial pressure on our Ontario lumber producers and remanufactures. Ontario is working with the sector to protect this important part of Ontario’s economy and minimize the impact of these unreasonable duties. Our government believes that fair and open trade is the best outcome for consumers on both sides of the border.

This decision will negatively impact American consumers and home builders by driving up lumber prices and making home construction and renovation more expensive.

We cannot let the unpredictability of our southern neighbour affect the jobs and well-being of people here in Ontario.

We are standing alongside our forestry sector – and the families that depend on it.

Working with our Chief Negotiator, former Federal Trade Minister, Jim Peterson, we will continue to advocate for free and open trade for Ontario’s softwood industry. I will continue to work with Federal and Provincial counterparts across Canada to find a solution that supports the Canadian softwood lumber industry. As we move through this process we will work with our industry partners, listen to their concerns, and represent their interests in Ottawa and Washington.”

Along with Quebec, Ontario is calling on the federal government to create a loan guarantee program to protect forest companies here in Ontario, and across Canada. This is a national issue that needs a national solution.

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