The Conservative MP for Roberval, Denis Lebel, denounced the inaction of the Liberal government on the agreement on softwood lumber Canada-United States and press for action.
“During the first visit of Justin Trudeau to Washington, he and Obama had given a hundred days to find a framework for negotiations. On the eve of President Obama’s visit to Ottawa for the Summit of North American leaders, no agreement on softwood lumber is in sight. It is time that the Prime Minister is seriously committed to discussing this issue with President Obama, and to provide details of the renegotiation of the Agreement on softwood lumber, “lamented the Deputy Leader of the Opposition official.
In 2014, over 65% of forestry exports were destined to the US market, accounting for a total $ 20 billion. Of this amount, $ 8.7 billion came from Quebec exports.
“The renegotiation of failure of one of the most important trade agreements between Canada and the United States is inexcusable. For a government that devotes an entire cabinet committee to relations between Canada and the United States, it is clear that the Liberals failed even once to help the forestry workers, “said for his part Todd Doherty, the official opposition spokesman on the Asia-Pacific gateway.
“On the eve of the Summit of North American leaders, it is time that the Prime Minister is seriously committed to discuss this issue with President Obama and to provide details on the renegotiation of the Agreement on softwood artwork. The official opposition will not let the Liberal government abandon another country’s resource sector, “concluded the deputy leader of the Conservative Party.
FQM also concerned
Moreover, the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM) and Alliance Quebec-Ontario boreal forest also adds to the pressure and asking the government to take into account the particular situation of the Quebec forest industry.
“The federal government must do everything possible to reach a satisfactory agreement for Quebec. For us, a crisis in the softwood lumber industry would be a real social crisis! The challenge of the current negotiations is significant for Quebec. Forestry is the first largest manufacturing sector with 60,000 direct jobs, “commented Richard Lehoux, President of the FQM.
“An agreement must be reached quickly, and to get there, we offer our full cooperation to the federal government and our forest industry partners. The agreement must bypass the unreasonable US protectionism on softwood lumber and allow Quebec to assert his new practices, “added Jean-Pierre Boivin, president of Alliance Quebec-Ontario boreal forest.