MP blasts softwood inaction

South Okanagan—West Kootenay NDP MP Richard Cannings laid into the current and previous federal governments this week for failing to stand up to the United States on softwood lumber.

In a lengthy speech in the House of Commons Thursday, Cannings blasted Justin Trudeau for failing to reach a deal with former President Barack Obama, despite the duo's “highly flaunted bromance.”

“Now we must negotiate with President Trump, whose administration has moved to hit our softwood lumber industry with even more tariffs,” he said, adding the industry is “reeling.”

Pointing to tariffs as high as 27 per cent hitting softwood lumber, and 300 per cent tariffs in the aerospace industry, he said “the way we negotiate trade deals is wrong.”

“If the Liberal government is serious about holding out for a good deal, instead of signing a bad one tomorrow, then it owes Canadians more transparency and openness about how it will help Canadians and Canada's industry weather the impending trade storm.”

Cannings noted that the B.C. forestry industry’s strategy of mitigating the American tariffs by selling to China has plateaued due to stiff competition from Russia with the low-value Ruble.

He took the chance to tout his private member's bill, that would compel the federal government to consider using more wood when building public buildings.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Penticton News