Softwood Lumber

The status of the Softwood Lumber Agreement was the topic of discussion in a presentation by Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries and Jason Fisher, ADM, Forest Sector at Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Fisher and Yurkovich provided guidance to communities about what they can do with the information to ensure B.C. gets a fair deal in future negotiations. 

Mr. Fisher recognized that communication between the province and local officials regarding updates on negotiations is lacking. In the past, mayors of timber-based communities received monthly updates on negotiations via conference call, but this practice has waned in recent years. Fisher assured delegates that this level of communication should return in the coming months. 

National lumber quotas were recognized as a key issue in the negotiations with the US. Whatever percentage is agreed upon, it is important that B.C. get a fair share of the quota. As the largest softwood lumber producer in Canada, B.C.’s quota should be the highest. It will be crucial for elected officials to lobby the federal government to ensure that B.C. gets a fair piece of the national quota and safeguard an industry that has been hampered by pine beetle epidemics, countervailing and anti-dumping duties and this summer’s wildfires. 

Lumber remains a key driver of B.C.’s economy, accounting for $12.9 billion of provincial GDP. One in four manufacturing jobs is related to the industry, while roughly 40,000 jobs and 140 communities depend on lumber as the main economic driver.    

Regular updates on the softwood lumber dispute are available on the Province of B.C. website.

Meta Navigation