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Senator Ringuette urges the government to table the Softwood Lumber deal and refer it to the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

Thursday in the Senate, Senator Ringuette asked questions to the Leader of the government in the Senate on the Softwood Lumber Agreement and urged Senator LeBreton to table in the Senate that propose deal and refer it to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce so it can be reviewed. Senator Ringuette also made the following comments:


“The Conservative government has given over $1 billion of our Canadian forest industry's hard-earned money to the U.S. forest industry to do product research and development and global market development. Also, this government has removed from the current budget the $1.5 billion package that was announced last November for the Canadian forest industry.


Since the U.S. Forest Industry can now more aggressively compete against us in the global market, I want to know what amount of money the Conservative government will provide the Canadian forest industry to do product research and development and to compete with the U.S. industry for new global markets.


The truth is that the government will not be able to help our Canadian Forest Industry because within that proposed deal are provisions that prohibit the Government of Canada from helping our own forest industry for the next seven years.


The Conservative government is ‘catering’ to the U.S. Forest Industry and is trying to put the softwood lumber issue behind all Canadians, when it is in reality still in front of us.  It will in fact remain in front of us until this government acts in favour of its forest industry.”


The Senator further added: “Unfortunately, the only answer I was able to get from Senator LeBreton was that she was going to put the request to table the deal to the appropriate officials in the government. I can’t stress enough that this is a matter of many, many jobs and many businesses in Canada that need to survive. They need to table this deal, because we want that document opened and reviewed. Canadians expect nothing more than openness from its government.”