Wall Questions NDP Softwood Lumber Approach

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 at 15:08



The leader of the Saskatchewan Party says the NDP government should be trying to convince other provinces to give up portions of their softwood lumber exports.


Brad Wall says he’ll be all ears on Thursday when the government announces its strategy for dealing with the current forestry situation.


Wall says he knows market conditions are the main reason why Weyerhaeuser recently folded sawmill operations in Carrot River, Hudson Bay, Big River and Prince Albert.


However, he maintains the NDP government is partially to blame.


He says two key problem areas are high capital taxes and a reluctance by SaskPower to allow companies to install co-generation plants of their own near sawmills.


Wall says the province should also be working to increase its share of softwood lumber exports to the United States.


When asked how the government would convince other provinces to give up portions of the market, Wall said there are some jurisdictions that potentially can’t fulfill their softwood market share.


Wall says the pine beetle infestation out west and the overharvesting situation in Quebec are just two of the reasons why he thinks our portion of softwood exports should go up.