The province is preparing to stand with our lumber industry, as the next softwood dispute begins to heat up.

The US Lumber Coalition has gone to its government claiming provinces across our country provide trees at discounted prices to our softwood producers, and so it’s asking for levies to be imposed.

Minister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson disputes those accusations.

“We will continue to work very closely with the Government of Canada to do everything we can to defend against these allegations and to stand by our forest communities and our forest industry, which we believe to be highly competitive and fully successful in a market-based lumber market,” says Wilkinson, standing in for Forest Minister Steve Thomson.

As for our industry, the BC Lumber Trade Council points out that NAFTApanels have previously found our softwood industry isn’t subsidized by government.

“The BC forest industry has been anticipating today’s litigation filing, and we are ready to defend the allegations in the filing, as we have done successfully in previous actions,” says BC Lumber Trade Council president Susan Yurkovich.

The 2006 softwood lumber deal expired a year ago, at which point a one-year standstill period came into effect so the parties could negotiate, but those talks have not led to a resolution.