Canada’s forestry sector directly employs 202,000 people from every region of the country. That’s double what the oil and gas sector employs, and triple the employment of the mining sector.
As a result, forestry’s impact on the Canadian Economy is massive: the industry produces $60 billion worth of products each year and is Canada’s third most valuable export sector. The United States is the destination for 70% of Canada’s softwood lumber exports.
The forestry sector is also a source of good-paying jobs in Canada, with wages 17% above the national average. Direct industry payroll injects $11.7 billion per year into the wider economy.
We cannot take this contribution for granted. If Canada does not meaningfully counteract U.S. tariffs to support workers and forest-dependent communities in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute, the consequences will be staggering.
The last time the U.S. imposed a softwood lumber duty, 15,000 workers were laid off within months. We must not let this happen again.
The Government of Canada needs a plan.
I call on the federal government to:
1. Negotiate a new softwood lumber deal that benefits Canadian communities;
2. Conduct thorough consultations with stakeholders;
3. Mitigate the impact of any U.S. – imposed duties, through federal loan guarantees;
4. Focus federal assistance on workers and communities;
5. Ensure any repayment of duties is invested back into local economies.