A group of Conservative MP’s have banded together to create what they are calling the “Softwood Lumber Task Force”
With the lapse in the softwood agreement’s one year grace period last week, the United States are now free to roll out tariffs that could decimate the industry north of the border. Last week an American industry spokesperson indicated “they have no choice” but to enact “protective measures”
Cariboo – Prince George MP Todd Doherty is one of six members on the task force.
“Residents in Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George, Vanderhoof, in my riding – those that depend on the forestry industry to put food on their table, they need to know what Plan B is.”
“If we are not able to get a deal done, what’s Plan B? What does this mean to their families?” Doherty said while slamming the federal government for sticking to talking points.
He says the group will be talking to the provinces, industry and trade unions to develop a way to move things forward. That plan will then be presented to government at a later date.
“We are taking things in our own hands. You will see us really pushing forward so that industry knows that we are listening to them… to really get a game plan moving forward.”
An estimated 10,000 Canadian forestry industry jobs were lost during the last softwood lumber dispute, which was not settled until 2006.
“This impacts those not just directly employed by the forestry industry, but it impacts all of our secondary industries as well too, and there is a lot of uncertainty in the industry and we will be pushing to make sure the government hears that loud and clear.”
Prince George – Peace River MP Bob Zimmer is also on the task force, alongside Cheryl Gallant, Denis Lebel, Randy Hoback and Gerry Ritz.