Trade Minister Michel Samson and Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines led a delegation to Washington today, Jan. 17, to advocate Nova Scotia’s position on softwood lumber.
“We stressed the importance of maintaining our exclusion from tariffs or quotas on lumber harvested in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Samson. “It is essential for our lumber industry.”
The Nova Scotia delegation included representatives from the provincial lumber industry. It met with David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the United States Lumber Coalition and its legal counsel.
The Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement expired in October 2015. It included an exclusion dating back to the 1980s which prevented Atlantic Canadian lumber from being subject to border measures.
“While subsidies have not been alleged in Nova Scotia, there is no guarantee that our industry will be excluded so we made clear that a fair market system exists in our province,” said Mr. Samson. “We continue to work collaboratively with the Government of Canada to explore all possible ways to defend our industry.”
“We appreciate the Nova Scotia government’s commitment to working with our industry to protect the long-standing exclusion,” said Richard Freeman, co-owner of Harry Freeman and Son, in Greenfield, Queens Co., one of the oldest family run sawmill businesses in North America.
“This is an important industry for this province,” said Mr. Hines. “We are still squarely focused on ensuring our exclusion continues. There are approximately 12,000 direct and indirect jobs supported by the provincial forestry industry.”