Monday, October 13, 2008

The Conservatives' $1 billion softwood sellout boondoggle

Before British Columbians (and Ontarioins and Quebecers for that matter) go to the polls, they should remember that the Conservatives sent $1 billion of our money to the United States in a softwood lumber sellout that has failed to bring anything resembling certainty to the industry. They should remember how it slammed the US market shut for the very type of value-added manufacturers we need MORE of. And they should know just where that $1 billion in illegally collected duties went:

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jenn said...

Dude - come on

It was the Liberals under Emerson that started the negotiations and it was Emerson under the Tories that finished the negotiations. They were completed within months (if that) of the last election.

If you think that the final deal would have been substantially different under a Liberal government your crazy.

Layton and the New Dems are the only party that has been on the right side of this issue. They have been fighting for the resource sector workers.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Dude, come on. The deal may have been available under the Liberals. As we both know, they didn't take it. What would a hypothetical Liberal government had done post 05 election? Both our speculation is equally worthless.

As for the NDP, their promise to cancel the deal, as flawed as this deal is, has got to be one of the stupidest, most short-sighted, purely politically opportunistic things I've ever heard. It has ZERO support from industry or workers.

Canceling the deal would throw tariffs back up, shut down mills and immediately throw hundreds out of work. It would be capital D dumb.

It is a bad deal. The right thing to do is to start negotiating a better one now. Blowing it up first would only lead to more hardship for a beleaguered industry, and shows Jack Layton's ham-fistidness on economic matters.

jenn said...

Will see whether the idea to scrap AND start over (which is the actual position) is supported or not. The race in BC has mainly been between ndp and cons particularly in the north the results will out.

I know the NDP position on forestry sector has been a boon in Northern Ontario and I predict several pick ups there for the NDP.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Outside the Lower Mainland, yes, it is between the Cons and the NDP. In the post above, I'm predicting Kamploops for the NDP.

On the Lower Mainland, all the polls have it as a Liberal/Conservative race, with the NDP facing well back in third.

On softwood, I am aware that cancel and then renegotiate is the position of the NDP. And, as I said, that's dumb. It weakens our bargaining position: we don't get the billion dollars back, and they'll throw up tariffs and close their markets immediately.

Sounds great: cancel the deal! But it's really, really dumb and will cost forest workers jobs.