June 1st, 2017

NDP urges immediate support for softwood lumber workers

OTTAWA – After months of inaction by the Liberal government, the NDP is welcoming today’s announcement of an $867 million support package, while also urging the government to fight the unfair U.S. tariffs and find a long-term resolution that protects jobs and reflects Canada’s regional differences.

“After 18 months of failing Canadians on this file, the Liberal government has finally agreed to offer support to the over 200,000 people that will be impacted,” said Tracey Ramsey, NDP Critic for International Trade. “Job losses have already started, with thousands more expected. Today’s measures must adequately address workers’ short-term needs, but Canadians also expect a long-term resolution.”

Canada’s forestry sector provides over 200,000 direct jobs and 300,000 spin-off jobs. The previous softwood lumber dispute cost over 20,000 jobs. A report released yesterday by the Conference Board of Canada said U.S. softwood lumber duties will result in the loss of 2,200 jobs and a $700 million reduction in Canadian exports over the next two years.

“For months, the NDP has urged the Liberals to take immediate action and provide a concrete short-term plan. Workers in communities like mine have already had their paycheques slashed and their hours cut,” said Karine Trudel, MP for Jonquière. “The government must ensure that the measures announced today take immediate effect to help struggling workers and communities.”