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

Man dies in snowmobile accident during Sun Peaks race

An Alberta man has died as a result of a fatal snowmobile… Continue reading

Lambing in full swing at Aveley Sheep Ranch

Spring is here and this may be most obvious at Aveley Heritage… Continue reading

RCMP looking for grain haulers dumping grain on roadside pull-outs

Illegal practice happening on Highway 5 between Valemount and Avola

Personal Development Weekend Retreat coming up

By K.A. Pendergast Have you ever been stressed? I am sure most… Continue reading

MayDay Parade Theme is “Clearwater Life”

Parade takes place May 18 and starts at Capostinsky Park

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read