'Steelworkers have John Horgan's back

Horgan takes on Clark, forest companies

Donald Trump trade threats raise political heat for Premier Christy Clark

NDP leader John Horgan has started his election campaign on the state of B.C.’s forest industry, hinting that Premier Christy Clark should replace her trade minister and “retool” for a lumber battle with incoming U.S. President Donald Trump.

At a campaign-style event in Vancouver Tuesday, Horgan also took aim at B.C.’s biggest forest companies for buying sawmills in the United States as B.C. mills shut down.

“When I look at what some of the major forest companies in British Columbia have been doing in the last number of years, they haven’t been reinvesting their profits in British Columbia, they’ve been buying U.S. assets,” Horgan said. “Canfor, Interfor, West Fraser have been purchasing U.S. interests rather than reinvesting here in British Columbia.”

Clark and Forests Minister Steve Thomson also heard from coastal industry representatives, as the annual Truck Loggers Association opened in Vancouver Wednesday.

“Recent industry polling tells us that two in three Coastal British Columbians feel government should be doing more to support the forest industry,” said David Elstone, TLA executive director.

Jobs Minister Shirley Bond acknowledged that forest and other resource communities have lost jobs in B.C., while the urban southwest enjoys an employment boom. She said the softwood lumber agreement was among the first issues raised by Clark when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected, and Thomson and new federal Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland are in regular contact.

“To suggest otherwise is simply wrong, and it’s a little late for the leader of the opposition to be talking about expanding our market share,” Bond said. “Our marketing efforts in China have seen a 2,000 per cent increase in B.C. softwood lumber exports from 2003 to 2014. And suddenly, the leader of the opposition is going to come up with a marketing strategy?”

Horgan appeared with Steelworkers’ Union Local 2009 president Manjit Sidhu, who said he has seen steady decline since he started working at Hammond Cedar in Maple Ridge in 1973. The world’s largest cedar mill, owned by Interfor, is down to a single shift because of a lack of logs, he said.

“The Steelworkers have John Horgan’s back, because John Horgan has the Steelworkers’ and the B.C. forest industry’s back,” Sidhu said.

Canada’s lumber trade with the U.S. has been in dispute off and on since 1982, with a combination import cap and border tax imposed by the U.S. that expired last year.

B.C.’s lumber sales to China have declined since a 2014 peak, when they briefly exceeded U.S. exports. China has increasingly turned to Russian lumber since the ruble was devalued in 2015.

 

Just Posted

Paintings by Syrian father and son end long journey at VISAC Gallery in Trail

The paintings on display at the VISAC Gallery in Trail have been through a lot

Thoughtexchange asks Rossland Council to support mixed-use on midtown lands site

A representative from Thoughtexchange attended Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Rossland remembers

Hundreds gathered for Remembrance Day ceremonies Saturday on Rossland’s main street.

Seven Summits celebrates grand opening

“Over 1,000 volunteer hours went into this renovation.”

Seven Summits Centre for Learning in Rossland receives $5,000 for robotics program

The local learning centre has received $5,000 from Telus for a robotics program.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read