Federal government announces softwood lumber task force

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OTTAWA, O.N. – Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced the creation of the Federal–Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber today.

The task force, which will be chaired by Carr, will share information and analysis to understand potential impacts and assess how to address the needs of affected workers and communities in the lead-up to a potential trade dispute with the United States. The new task force will also assess current federal and provincial programs and ensure coordination of government initiatives to promote innovation, market diversification and transformation in the forest sector. Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland continues to lead softwood engagement with the United States.

“Canada’s forest and natural resource sectors are vital to employment in communities across the country,” said Carr. “This new task force will work together to strengthen the long-term success of the forest sector through innovation and diversifying markets for Canadian forest products.”

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The forest sector directly employs more than 200,000 people across Canada. Softwood lumber exports were valued at $8.6 billion in 2015 — close to 70 percent of which was exported to the U.S.

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