The softwood countervailing duties imposed by the US government on Monday will have a negative impact on the whole forestry industry chain of commerce and on the economy of several municipalities in the region, deplores the member for Argenteuil – La Petite-Nation, Stéphane Lauzon.
Lauzon, who had been working for the past three generations at the CIP plant and Bowater in Gatineau, was also shaken on Wednesday by speaking of the Trump government’s decision. On Monday, he visited two lumber mills in Val d’Or and understands all the anxiety created by this new softwood lumber war.
Even though there are no businesses in his constituency that are directly affected by the 20% tax, many more will be indirectly affected, the MP said.
“You have to think about all forest workers who are also likely to be affected indirectly. There are a whole range of trades, those who open roads, ditches, mechanics, welders, Hydro-Québec workers on the relay lines. There are many affected people, including all local vendors, and restaurants in the village that may depend on their clientele, “says Lauzon.
It also gives example to the flooring company Lauzon, of Papineauville, which will be affected indirectly since it must respect quotas for species cut in the forest. “If there are fewer customers to sell the lumber cut, this may have an indirect impact,” says MP Lauzon.
Collaboration and innovation
Collaboration between Quebec City and Ottawa on this issue will be critical to help affected businesses and workers. A federal-provincial committee was created to look for solutions.
The efforts of this collaboration will help companies and workers during this period.
“I still trust that with innovation, we will succeed. Recently, we awarded $ 19 million for innovation projects at Papier Masson and Fortress de Thurso. It is by working as a team that we will succeed, “said MP Lauzon.