South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings held an open house at his Castlegar office on Sunday

Cannings disappointed by slow progress on softwood lumber

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings was disappointed with the progress in negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement.

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings was disappointed with the progres made by the Canadian government in negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement with the US.

During a press conference Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama held in the Rose Garden on Thursday, Trudeau briefly addressed the issue, referring to it as an irritant.

“I’m confident that we are on a track to resolving this irritant in the coming weeks and months,” said Trudeau.

Obama also referred to it as an irritant.

“This issue of softwood lumber will get resolved in some fashion,” said Obama. “Our teams are already making progress on it. It’s been a long-standing, bilateral irritant, but hardly defines the nature of the US-Canadian relationship, and we have some very smart people and they’ll find some way to resolve it, undoubtedly to the dissatisfaction of all parties concerned.”

Representatives from both countries have 100 days to look into options for resolving the dispute and report back.

Prior to the meeting between the prime minister and president, Cannings stood up in the House of Commons during Question Period on Monday, March 7 and asked if Trudeau would stand up for Canadians while negotiating the new softwood lumber agreement. His comments were featured on The National that same evening.

“The prime minster’s trip to Washington is about more than cocktail parties and magazine spreads,” he said. “The softwood lumber issue is important to Canadian industry from coast to coast and workers are worried about how the new agreement will affect their livelihoods. Softwood lumber is again open to negotiation and our industry is vulnerable. Will the prime minister stand up for Canadians and refuse to grant concessions on softwood lumber?”

Trudeau was not there to respond, as he was participating in a Huffington Post town hall, but David Lametti, parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade, responded on behalf of the Liberals.

“It is a very important issue for Canadians; it’s an important industry, a very complex industry across this country,” he said. “We are well aware of the complexity; we are going to ensure that we have stable, fair and equitable access to the American market. We will use all means at our disposal, Mr. Speaker, and we will get it done.”

At an open house held at his Castlegar office on Sunday, Cannings expressed that he was disappointed that an agreement hadn’t yet been reached.

“I guess I was surprised how excited they sounded,” he said. “It sounded like they’d solved the problem when in fact they said they were going to talk about it which is good. I’m glad they’re going to talk about it, but that’s basically all that announcement was.”

Though no one working in the lumber industry in Castlegar has specifically approached Cannings about this issue, he said he’s had feedback from other areas in the riding.

“I haven’t heard it directly from the forest industry in Castlegar; I’ve talked to other mills in the region,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Update: Bodies recovered from Pend d’Oreille River crash

To help support the family, a fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale

Split council vote changes Castlegar infrastructure levy from five to seven years

Major industry will be seeing a tax increase over the next seven years as well.

South Okanagan-Kootenay MP calls federal budget ‘not bold enough’

Richard Cannings, MP for South OK and Kootenay communities says budget missed the mark

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read