Pulp and Paper Canada

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Softwood signing sparks anger


July 4, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Despite strong public opposition to the deal, July 1 marked the federal government’s signing of the softwood lumber…

Despite strong public opposition to the deal, July 1 marked the federal government’s signing of the softwood lumber agreement.

The signing has sparked angry sentiment from various forestry associations.

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“The government promised not to go forward until it had a commercially viable agreement,” said Carl Grenier, executive vice-president of the Free Trade Lumber Council. “The industry associations, and many individual companies, declared publicly and in writing on Friday (June 30) that the deal is not commercially viable, and in fact, makes no sense.”

Jamie Lim, president of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) views the agreement as a regression of progress that has been made over the years.

“The deal has us abandon our legal victories and legal positions,” she said. “After three years (allowing for notice and a so-called ‘peace’ clause of one year), we will start all over again, only we will have paid the U.S. industry all its fees and costs for the last four rounds of softwood disputes through all of which the courts have sided with Canada,” she added.

“No one in Canada expected a perfect deal. We knew we’d have to pay for trade peace, but this agreement is untenable.”


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