Conservatives failed us on softwood dispute with the U.S.

MP Cathy McLeod's claim that preventing a trade war over softwood lumber is top priority for the Conservatives rings hollow

Editor, The Times:

Re: MP Cathy McLeod on softwood umber, Oct. 27 issue

MP Cathy McLeod’s claim that preventing a trade war over softwood lumber is top priority for the Conservatives rings hollow. The Conservatives reneged on election promises and rammed through the Softwood Lumber Agreement in 2006.

They had demanded the U.S. play by the rules and abide by NAFTA and WTO rulings in Canada’s favour, and return more than $5 billion in illegal softwood lumber tariffs. Once in power, the Conservatives refused to provide direct help or guarantee any loan to help the industry stay afloat. They bullied through the softwood ratification vote as a motion of confidence in the government.

They agreed to forfeit $1 billion of the disputed funds to U.S. lobby groups. Of this, $500 million ended up with the US Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports. The Conservatives yielded lunch money to the schoolyard bully and handed over a war chest to fund future trade challenges.

Harper threatened to slap Canadian holdouts with 19 per cent charge if they refused to pay their share of the $1 billion being forfeited to the U.S.

Before the ink was dry, some companies were negotiating to use their portion of the refund money to purchase or ramp up production in U.S. mills. Communities that had supplied these companies with resources, including tax concessions, were left high and dry without one word of protest from the federal government or local M.P.’s.

It was under Conservative lax log-export rules that millions of cubic metres of Canadian wood was exported to the U.S. to run those mills. We’ve lost thousands of B.C. jobs with the closure of several mills, much of it due to the softwood deal.

The Softwood Lumber Agreement was a bad deal for Canada and we were bullied and bludgeoned into it by the Conservatives while the M.P. in this riding meekly parroted the party line as hundreds of workers hit the unemployment lines. The Conservatives failed us.

Bill Sundhu

 

Kamloops, B.C.

 

 

Just Posted

Advance votes up 33.6 per cent in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

4,782 more advance votes cast in riding

Jim’s Food Market celebrates 100 years of operation

“We certainly thank all the customers, family and friends that supported the business over 100 years.”

Candidates tackle forestry issue at recent forum

Though a provincial issue, candidates agreed both levels of government need to address the situation

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read