Prince George-Cariboo Conservative MP, Todd Doherty is back from Washington D.C. speaking on softwood lumber.
Doherty co-chairs the Softwood Lumber Task-force and says American retail and consumer groups are not happy with Ottawa after failing to negotiate from a position of strength.
He adds if tariffs are levied in March, the ramifications will be felt for several mills near Prince George.
“We could risk losing two mills south of Prince George with the loss of up to 400-500 jobs and a quarter of the municipal tax base. These jobs where the average family could be 2.5 to 3 people per family equates to 1,200 people that could be displaced.”
A potential loss of jobs could also have a ripple effect on other sectors.
“Grocery stores, the car dealerships are all dependant on each other, so if we have an industry that is failing and not doing well we are all going to face it. We are going to lose people then the numbers in our schools will go down and possibly face school closures.”
New home owners south of the border could also be feeling the pinch. “When you build a home that main product is going to be more costly. We could see tariffs as early as March at 17% higher than where it is today,” says Doherty.
Doherty tried to rally all the provinces to an emergency round table meeting back in August, but that was quickly snuffed out by Ottawa. “We called for the meeting and we said we are 42 days away from the end of the grace period and I put a motion forward to the government to convene and find a way to yes. We were told quite blatantly that it was a waste of time and money.”