Was just on a nice fellow's blog site and he, a Conservative apologist, brought up the whole softwood lumber dispute... I believe that the whole softwood lumber dispute is all smoke and mirrors....a wild card designed to deflect attention away from issues of mutual national security and bad foreign economic relations. I know this is not a popular view here in Canada, but if you think about it, there are points of interest.
Point one...most of the major softwood producers in Canada are US firms like Wayrhouser and MacMillin Blodell (now wholey US owned). So the duties hurt US firms! How weird is that?
Point two...this problem has gone on for longer than the working life of any lumberjack in the forest today. They seem to be employed even with all the duties being levied. There is a lot of Canadian lumber going to rebuild New Orleans! So there is NO widespread unemployment as a result of US-Canadian fiscal policies. (Well, there is BSC, but thats another subject which does not really stand up under scrutiny...lets stick to one thing at a time here...)
Third interesting point....China is purchasing lumber companies and oil companies as fast as they can get their hands on them. (google search...I did!). The Conservative government is on record as stating that "Canadians should not just be hewers of wood and drawers of water"! Yet they have allowed industries which "value add" to our natural resources to collapse and languish. Steel mills close. Wire plants close. Beef cutting plants close. Sawmills close.
At the same time, crack and methamphetamines are flooding our cities, DNA samples from rapes are languishing in freezers awaiting funding to process, AFIS and CODIS are only gradually coming on line, illegal immigration is bringing thousands of children and girls into North America every year to face conditions of slavery, and people are having to advertise on the internet to get a kidney in order to beat the two year waiting list!
I think the new Conservative Government needs to have somebody give it some direction! Or at least give it some priorities!