Industry Canada

Industry Canada

November 16, 2006 14:00 ET

Industry Canada: Return of Softwood Duties Provides Cash and Stability to Canadian Companies

ST-EMILE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2006) - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today told workers and executives at the Leduc Sawmill that the return of softwood lumber duties will help their industry get through this difficult period.

"These duty refunds bring a badly needed injection of cash to the softwood industry, which is facing significant challenges," said Minister Bernier while visiting the sawmill during a tour of forestry companies. "The implementation of the Softwood Lumber Agreement is vital for the success of Canada's forest industry and its 340 000 workers."

The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade, said that thanks to the creation of a refund mechanism through Export Development Canada (EDC), the return of duties to companies is well ahead of schedule. "Canada's New Government committed to the speedy return of duties to our softwood producers," said Minister Emerson. "These returns started less than three weeks after the agreement came into effect."

"The quick return of softwood lumber duties are vital for these forestry companies in order for them to pay down debt, improve cash flow, invest in new machinery and equipment, and explore new markets for their products," Minister Bernier added.

Rejean Begin, Vice-President of Papiers White Birch, a private company with holdings in Scierie Leduc, is looking forward to receiving some $2.5 million in duties collected from his company. "The return of this money will allow us to modernize some of our equipment," he said, "which will in turn contribute to the viability of the plant."

Under the terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, EDC will continue to make expedited refunds to participating companies over the coming weeks.

Further information is available at www.softwoodlumber.gc.ca and www.edc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Marc-Andre Plouffe
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613- 943-2502
    or
    Office of the Minister of International Trade and
    Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-
    Whistler Olympics
    Jennifer Chiu
    Press Secretary
    613-992-7332
    or
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Trade Media Relations Office
    613-996-2000
    www.international.gc.ca