QUEENS PARK – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne issued the following statement responding to the announcement of new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.:
“On behalf of the people of Ontario, I am disappointed with the U.S. administration’s announcement of new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. These tariffs unfairly target Ontario’s forest industry, putting it, and the workers and communities who rely on the sector, at risk. We stand firmly with Ontario’s forest products workers, and I am committed to continuing to fight hard for their interests.
My priority is the people of Ontario, and I will stand up for them every time. We will continue to actively represent our province’s interests, while ensuring people and communities in the North have support in light of the uncertainty created by these unfair actions.
On Monday, our government announced Jim Peterson as Ontario’s chief negotiator on softwood lumber.
I am confident in the work of Mr. Peterson, whose experience in previous softwood negotiations will equip him to effectively advocate for Ontario’s best interests. Mr. Peterson will play a key role, ensuring Ontario’s forestry sector is well represented in ongoing discussions with the U.S., the Government of Canada and other provincial governments.
This is a national problem that requires a national solution. Ontario continues to call on the federal government to establish a loan guarantee program, as well as programs to support communities and individuals that depend on Canadian companies negatively impacted by the lumber dispute. We will also work with the federal government to support Ontario companies affected by these tariffs.
In addition, our government is working on a strategy to address some of the impact that these unfair tariffs will have on forest products workers and the communities that rely on this important sector.
We will continue to work with the forestry sector to protect this vital part of Ontario’s economy and minimize the impact of these export duties. We have been actively listening to workers’ and businesses’ concerns, and we will continue to work alongside them and ensure their concerns are strongly represented.
We will not allow this U.S. decision to threaten the livelihoods of workers in our province. Ontario will protect the jobs and communities that forestry supports.”