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B.C. promises to fight softwood tariffs

VICTORIA, B.C. -- B.C.'s most powerful politicians expressed their outrage yesterday at the U.S. decision to implem...

VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C.’s most powerful politicians expressed their outrage yesterday at the U.S. decision to implement further duties on Canadian softwood export.

B.C. Forests Minister, Mike de Jong, lashed out at the U.S., labelling the nation a “hostile foreign power” that is attacking forest-dependent communities.

The comments came on the heels of a proposal to put together a plan that would help forest-dependent communities and families.

B.C. Premier, Gordon Campbell was equally miffed by the latest developments in the softwood war.

“We were told throughout this negotiation that we were making real progress and it t urns out there was none,” Campbell said from the legislature yesterday. “I want all British Columbians to know that we are going to fight that decision legally, politically and persistently, and we are going to win.”

Campbell pointed out the province held off a major information campaign following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as an act of good faith.

“The very families whose jobs are in jeopardy today are the families who were holding bake sales so they could send resources from their community down to the people in New York to offer support,” says Campbell. “They reached out, now our best friend has decided to slap those families in the face.”

Both Campbell and De Jong urged the feds to take tough action against the duties. One idea being floated around is to kibosh U.S. plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Canada. In the meantime, B.C. is planning an aggressive public information campaign, to educate U.S. consumers about the impact the duties will have on housing costs.

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