Opposition says government not taking softwood concerns seriously

By Doug Collins
October 18, 2016 - 7:06am

KAMLOOPS —  If the Trudeau Liberals don't take softwood lumber problems seriously, Canada will be the big loser in the long run.

The U.S. and Canada are talking to try and renew the expired softwood deal, but to no avail so far.

The opposition is claiming the government isn't putting the need to negotiate a new agreement high enough up the priority list. Kamloops MP  Cathy McLeod has seconded an opposition motion to get moving on the deal. She says she's hoping some suggestions by her colleagues can stall any trade action while the new deal is being negotiated.

"One of the suggestions by my colleague Gerry Ritz was 'see if you can make it that there is no action while you continue to negotiate' '". says McLeod. "Right now they continue to negotiate, but his suggestion was that while  we're at the table, there can be no action, and I thought that was a great idea."

McLeod says the Opposition is very concerned about lack of progress, and the possibility of action by the U.S. Lumber Coalition now that the deal has ended.

"It was not in the Minister's mandate letter, it was not in the speech from the Throne, " says the MP, "so we're worried that they haven't put the important priority it needs on the file."

McLeod says over 400,000 Canadian jobs are at risk in the deal.

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