Political Gameplay while Jobs at Risk

Softwood lumber dispute has all the great elements for a political showdown

The softwood lumber dispute has all the great elements for a political showdown: clash of Canadian and American values, David vs. Goliath, a resource-rich land vs. a powerful protectionist land.

It feels like a game of chicken, with the president of the United States driving headlong towards Canada’s car and Premier Christy Clark pumping the gas back. Dairy was the first rev of the engine, softwood lumber picked up the speed and now the BC government is shifting into fifth gear with a proposal to ban U.S. thermal coal from B.C.’s ports in retaliation. Clark stated her government has considered the request for some time but did not want to provoke the U.S. president while softwood lumber talks were underway.

Naturally, all the political leaders have jumped in to add their two cents. It is an international affair seemingly custom-made for election time. Each cites their party is the best to handle the mess and that the other is making poor decisions, thereby jeopardizing the softwood lumber industry and the jobs potentially at stake.

This issue magnifies the problem with provincial politics. As it’s election time, the badmouthing seems amped up to full volume. But on any given day in B.C., on any given issue, the major parties spend more time saying what the other one’s doing wrong than focusing on how to fix the problem collectively as a province.

Right now, we have a major industry under attack by the U.S. B.C’s forestry industry accounted for more than $14 billion in exports in 2016, with more than 60,000 people employed in over 140 communities around the province. That is a lot of jobs affected if this game of chicken continues. Wouldn’t it be better to drop the curtain on the political show and, instead, work collectively to come to an agreement?

For the sake of more than 60,000 British Columbians, let’s hope the best and brightest in our province can help achieve a positive softwood lumber deal instead of worrying about what side of the house they sit on or what colour the campaign sign is that sits on their lawn.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read