Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson has issued the following statement regarding federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr’s announcement of a Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber:
“Given the importance of forestry to B.C.’s economy and the fact that B.C. accounts for over 50% of Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the U.S., I’m pleased to be able to participate in this task force. Through the task force, I’m committed to working closely with my federal and provincial colleagues to assess our collective readiness to respond to the needs of workers and communities affected by U.S. trade action.
“Reaching a new softwood lumber trade agreement with the U.S. remains a top priority for the B.C. government, which is why Premier Christy Clark appointed David Emerson as British Columbia’s special trade envoy to the United States. Mr. Emerson will be working closely with the federal government on ensuring Americans are aware of how B.C. softwood lumber products support the U.S. economy and how unwarranted duties impact their dream of home ownership.
“Our forest industry directly employs more than 60,000 people in over 140 communities throughout B.C. We’re pleased that the federal government recognizes the importance of forestry across the country and the need for us to continue to work closely together on this important issue.”