Logs are unloaded at Murray Brothers Lumber Company woodlot in Madawaska, Ont. on Tuesday April 25, 2017. Ontario is increasing funding for forest access roads by $20 million in response to the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the U.S. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Softwood lumber tariffs worse for Alberta

MP says Liberal government missed its chance

Alberta will be among the provinces hurt most by tariffs imposed by the United States on Canadian softwood lumber.

Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen said tariffs on producers in Western Canada are as high as 24 per cent compared to Eastern Canada where it can be as low as three per cent.

“In the east the lumber comes off of more private lands, whereas in the west in a lot of cases it’s coming from Crown land. The U.S. says that producers get a lot better deal when it’s coming off Crown land,” Dreeshen said.

Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council has called American’s accusations about Alberta’s timber pricing practices baseless and unfounded and do not take into account costs for reforestation, land management, road building, environmental monitoring and site reclamation.

Dreeshen said Canada must have a unified response on the new U.S. tariffs, some being imposed retroactively. And any money paid should go to the U.S. government rather than spread among U.S. lumber companies so it will be easier to get it back if Canada wins the dispute.

He said the Liberal government had time to address the timber dispute before Donald Trump became president.

“It could have been avoided. There were lots of opportunities for this to have been dealt with,” Dreeshen said.

Reg Warkentin, policy and advocacy manager with Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce, said while Central Alberta doesn’t have much of a lumber sector, tariffs will be tough on producers elsewhere in Alberta.

“The U.S is our biggest trading partner by far and this really emphasizes to me to go after and flush out trade opportunities with other countries,” Warkentin said.

“We need to do a better job of selling the benefits of trade and just getting people to understand that in reality it does really benefit everybody. Politicians and chambers, really everyone, need to do a better job of selling that message.”

The softwood lumber dispute reminded him of Canada’s country of origin labeling issue with the U.S.

“It became this big, huge headache and resulted in a big disadvantage for Canadian producers wanting to ship their meat to the United States. Thankfully the World Trade Organization ruled in our favour a number of times but the United States just kind of ignored those rulings. They don’t always play nice so we can’t either. We need to be really tough with them.”


Just Posted

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month