NDP leader John Horgan joins Fraser-Nicola candidate Harry Lali (left) at the site of the shut-down Tolko sawmill in Merritt.

U.S. lumber retaliation ‘irresponsible,’ Horgan says

NDP leader John Horgan says he'll go to Washington DC within 30 days of being elected premier to talk softwood

Making threats of trade retaliation during an election campaign is not the way to respond to the latest U.S. import duty on Canadian lumber, NDP leader John Horgan says.

Horgan was responding to B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark’s vow that she is prepared to place a carbon levy on all thermal coal exports from B.C. in response to a 20 per cent preliminary duty on B.C. lumber.

Speaking at a shut-down sawmill in Merritt on Tuesday, Horgan said action against U.S. coal shipments brought up by train to B.C.’s coal port in Delta “is in the range of options” B.C. should consider. He repeated his accusation that Clark’s government didn’t act until the last softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. had expired more than a year ago.

“We also have the Columbia River treaty that’s currently under negotiation, there are agricultural exchanges that we have as well as energy,” Horgan said. “There’s a whole host of issue, but a week before election day, I believe, is not the time to rattle sabres. I believe what the premier is doing is irresponsible.”

Horgan said if he is elected premier May 9, he will go to Washington D.C. within 30 days to make B.C.’s lumber case to U.S. officials.

Clark’s proposed $70-per-tonne levy on thermal coal would also be applied to shipments from Alberta and Saskatchewan, which go to Asia through Prince Rupert port. U.S. thermal coal, barred from export by Washington, Oregon and California, makes up the vast majority of B.C.’s thermal coal export volume.

Speaking in Fort McMurray Wednesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she does not believe B.C. has the authority to prevent Alberta commodities from being shipped through federally regulated rail and port facilities.

Horgan repeated his call for logs from the B.C. coast to be shipped to the Interior to make up for the pine beetle damage that led Tolko to close its Merritt sawmill, displacing 200 employees.

Horgan appeared with Fraser-Nicola NDP candidate Harry Lali, who denounced the NDP’s opposition to industrial projects after he lost the seat in the 2013 election.

Horgan reiterated his opposition to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion through the B.C. Interior to its port in Burnaby, which has put him at odds with Notley’s efforts to see the pipeline completed.

 

Just Posted

Bears face Hawks, Bruins, Flyers and Bulldogs

Grizzlies lose narrowly to place second out of seven Atom teams

UPDATE: Mount Milligan Mine temporarily suspends operations

There have not been any layoffs at this stage

BC Liberal leader hopeful Wilkinson shares vision with Rupertites

Andrew Wilkinson travelled to Prince Rupert with two supporting northern MLAs, Ross and Rustad

B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Most Read