KENORA – Bob Nault, Liberal Candidate for the Kenora riding, released the following statement regarding the temporary curtailment at Kenora Forest Products:

“The softwood lumber industry is an important sector of our economy in Northwestern Ontario, supporting hundreds of jobs throughout our communities. Today, I’ve received word of a temporary curtailment at Kenora Forest Products. I would like to assure workers, as well as their families, that I stand with them. The Government of Canada will be there to support them through Employment Insurance.

“This morning, I had a discussion with Maureen Prendiville, president of Prendiville Industries, who assured me that the temporary curtailment is due to soft market conditions and that we will work together to ensure that workers and their families have the support they need during this time.

“I also had a discussion with Unifor’s national representative, Steve Boon, regarding my conversations with Kenora Forest Products officials. He was pleased to hear that mill representative are confident that workers will return to work as soon as operations resume.”

Boon, added, “We are pleased that Bob Nault has been fully engaged with Kenora Forest Product officials and Unifor in dealing with this temporary curtailment and securing insurance benefits for affected workers.”

Nault went on to say, “Despite the U.S. market’s dependence on imported lumber, over the past 25 years, the United States lumber industry has repeatedly sought U.S. government restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber imports. Most recently, the unanimous NAFTA Chapter 19 binational panel decision on U.S. imports of Canadian softwood lumber supported, what Canada had been saying all along: U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair and unwarranted.

“The panel’s decision is an important step in the right direction in having these duties on Canadian exports removed, and the sums collected reimbursed.

“I will continue to work closely with Unifor and Prendiville Industries to strongly defend the quality jobs that the softwood lumber industry provides for workers and their families here in the North,” concluded Nault.