Softwood Lumber, the Pine Beetle, and Caribou
October 20, 2017
OTTAWA: On October 19th, Jim Eglinski, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, took part in debate on a Conservative motion which calls on the federal government to support forestry workers.
On October 12, 2015, the Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the United States expired. Despite declaring “a real breakthrough on softwood lumber” with the previous U.S. administration, the Federal Government has yet to negotiate a new deal. Instead, the Liberals announced an aid package to compensate for the 370,000 jobs jeopardized across the country when they let the Softwood Lumber Agreement expire and the United States subsequently announced countervailing duties in April as high as 24.12%.
MP Eglinski also expressed frustration with the Federal Government’s lack of response to the mountain pine beetle infestation, which is quickly spreading through the riding.
“I am concerned even further when it comes to softwood lumber, because the Liberal government is failing in other areas,” stated MP Eglinski. “I have been working for two years with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to take some serious action with respect to the pine beetle in Jasper National Park. It has destroyed the forest there. It has now moved into the province of Alberta and, in one year—if the members across would listen—it has increased tenfold.”
MP Eglinski also criticized the way the government has dealt with protecting the woodland caribou.
“The government needs to take a look at our caribou, which is now an endangered species. The government is doing nothing to work with the provinces to ensure that these animals are protected. If the Species at Risk Act goes into play, and if the Province of Alberta gets its way, it will close down close to 4.9 million acres of our forestry land due to the caribou.
The government needs to take some action to support Alberta’s forest industry,” concluded MP Eglinski.
To read the speech and find more information on the motion, visit the House Publications page at: www.ourcommons.ca/en.