The Government of Canada launched initiatives to ensure the forest sector competitiveness in the face of the duties implemented by the US on softwood lumber. The federal government announced CAD 867 million in initiatives to support the forest sector including:
- federal loans and loan guarantees to complement provincial efforts;
- efforts to expand overseas markets and promote the diversification of Canadian wood products;
- helping Indigenous communities and organizations improve the performance of their forest sector initiatives;
- providing a temporary extension of the maximum period for Work-Sharing agreements from 38 to 76 weeks in order to reduce layoffs;
- expanding support to help affected workers upgrade their skills and transition to new opportunities.
Derek Nighbor, CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada, commented:
“We appreciate that the federal government is standing tall for Canadian forestry communities by launching a comprehensive package in the face of trade actions that we believe are without merit. This support will assist our efforts in continuing to transform our sector, diversify our markets, and support our workers. We are a proud Canadian industry with a track record of providing good jobs in rural and northern Canada, while sustainably managing our forests for generations to come. These actions by the federal government are a critical step as we work to secure a strong forest sector of tomorrow.”