MY CARIBOU NOW — Doug Donaldson, BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, says some of the things that truckers are asking for have already been implemented and others are being considered.

“Some of those are on the list that my senior staff will be meeting with the Interior Logging Association this week, and also they’ve presented some of those details to me. We definitely would encourage some action from the Federal Government as far as the employment insurance flexibility that the contractors are looking for.”

According to a report in My Caribou Now, Donaldson says there is also already some money in place within the $69M that was announced to support workers and communities last month.

“Fifteen million of that is going towards boots on the ground projects around communities and wildfire risk reductions and those types of activities that will help put the contractors to work in the short term, knowing that they have payments to make.”

As for stumpage, Donaldson says to politically intervene at this “sensitive” time would worsen the situation because he says they are in the middle of an international court of appeal case around the softwood lumber agreement.

“The stumpage system we have now has been tried, true and tested and has been the reason that we’ve won appeals in the past against the unfair and unwarranted tariffs that have on average been 20.3 percent against companies in BC. So, to do anything that would give ammunition to those in the United States who want to pursue legal action against us, and even increase these tariffs, would be detrimental.”

Donaldson says BC is the biggest player in Canada when it comes to softwood lumber exports to the United States.

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