Coast Forest Products Association

May 08, 2009 17:03 ET

Coast Forest Products Association Corrects the Record on NDP Forestry Critic's Attack

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 8, 2009) - The following statement from Coast Forest Products Association President & CEO Rick Jeffery corrects NDP forestry critic allegations that B.C. forest companies are breaking the law:

In a desperate political move, the NDP's Bob Simpson has decided to pick a forestry fight and side with the Americans, and in the process put thousands of B.C. jobs at risk. To make matters worse, Simpson hasn't even got his facts straight.

Simpson's latest outburst in a Canadian trade journal (Madison's Canadian Lumber Reporter is dishonest, misinformed and reveals a lack of understanding of an industry looking for leadership not political opportunism.

Claiming that high-grade cedar logging and heli-logging on the B.C. coast is causing "two-bit stumpage" is untrue yet may provoke the United States lumber lobby to file costly court challenges which our industry will have to defend.

The facts are that stumpage on the coast has not fallen below $8.99 a cubic metre since 2006 and was at $11.85 a cubic metre through the first quarter of 2009. That's a long way from 25 cents.

The misinformed NDP critic also attacks the Market-based Pricing System, calling it "a mess" and implying that it contravenes the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement - another patently untrue and dangerous statement.

MPS was updated in January as part of the annual update process to reflect ongoing market conditions and the market price of logs and lumber. The update was 100 per cent in compliance with the Softwood Lumber Agreement and followed the rules and procedures provided in Article XVII (2) of the SLA. Indeed, the changes improved the accuracy and reliability of stumpage prices, ensuring they are truly market based.

In support of union policy, Simpson also wants to "restrain and restrict log exports through incremental taxation". If the NDP did this, it would bring immediate trade action by the U.S. because it is a clear circumvention of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. The result would shut down what's left of B.C.'s forest industry.

With less than a week to go before the election, Simpson has clarified the NDP's position on forestry. Unfortunately, it is a position that will result in thousands of lost jobs and millions of dollars in lost provincial tax money that could have funded schools and hospitals.

Contact Information

  • Coast Forest Products Association
    R.M. (Rick) Jeffery
    President & CEO