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Spring 2017 Features:

Task Force
on Softwood Lumber

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What’s Happening
in MANITOBA

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PDAC 2017 Awards

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Northern Premiers want Say in Arctic Policy

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Resolute –
a Future All-Terrain Vehicle for the North?

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Boart Longyear highlights Drilling Services

 

By Natural Resources Canada

Canada’s forest sector is vital to a strong Canadian economy. Enhanced collaboration between federal and provincial governments will help to keep our forest sector, and the workers and communities that depend on it, strong and resilient.

On Feb.22, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, announced the creation of the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber, which will share information and analysis to understand potential impacts and assess how to address the needs of affected workers and communities. Minister Carr will chair the domestic task force, while Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, leads softwood engagement with the United States.

There has been ongoing engagement with the provinces, territories and industry over the past two years as the Government of Canada has sought to negotiate a new deal with the US on softwood lumber. This is the next step in our strategic approach to this issue, which strengthens our ongoing efforts on a priority file for the Government. Minister Carr stated, “Canada’s forest and natural resource sectors are vital to employment in communities across the country. This new task force will work together to strengthen the long-term success of the forest sector through innovation and diversifying markets for Canadian forest products.”

Canada believes that a negotiated agreement that brings predictability and stability to industry on both sides of the border is the best possible outcome. The Government will continue to work closely with provinces, territories, and the softwood lumber industry to vigorously defend the interests of the middle-class Canadians who depend on the industry. This work will continue outside of the task force. According to Minister Freeland, “Softwood lumber is a priority for our government. We are committed to promoting and vigorously defending the interests of workers and producers from across Canada. My colleagues and I will continue to work very closely with the softwood industry, its workers, the provinces and territories.”

The new Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber will assess current federal and provincial programming and ensure coordination of government initiatives to promote innovation, market diversification and transformation of the forest sector.

The forest sector is an important part of Canada’s economy. It directly employs more than 200,000 people across Canada. Softwood lumber exports were valued at $8.6 billion in 2015 – close to 70% of which was exported to the US.

Quick Facts
In the United States, where demand for lumber exceeds what domestic mills can supply, housing and other industries rely on Canada for stable, predictable access to quality products.

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), which provided stability and predictability for industry on both sides of the border, expired on October 12, 2015.

The new Federal–Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber will coordinate current programs and assess domestic initiatives. Negotiations for a new softwood lumber agreement continue to be led by Global Affairs Canada, in close collaboration with provinces, territories, industry and other stakeholders.

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