The standstill agreement on softwood lumber trade expired recently, leaving Canadians holding their breath for the U.S. Lumber Coalition to launch legal proceedings.
In the calm before the storm of the next Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute, speculation about how the issue will unfold has crystallized around two options: a tax or a quota. The differences may appear merely technical, but they would mean vastly different things economically.
While a quota would impose a cap on exports to the United States, a tax would allow the level of exports to fluctuate with U.S. consumers’ willingness to pay for Canadian lumber. In other words, as U.S. lumber prices increase, Canadian lumber would still be able to enter the U.S. market to meet demand.
With the U.S. Lumber Coalition free to file a new trade case against Canadian lumber producers as early as October 13, share prices across the sector are expected to come under pressure.
Last Friday, students from St. Nicholas Catholic School got out of the classroom to help the former 10,000 Trees Project launch into its next phase as the rebranded Ten Thousand Forests project. The tree plant ceremony took place at the nature centre at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area.
“We’re passing on the shovel to the next generation,” said volunteer Rick Relf, who has been part of the organization for about as long as program founder, city Coun. Mark Whaley.
Beginning about 15 years ago, Whaley wanted to make Waterloo greener. So, he came up with a goal — plant 10,000 trees in 10 years on city land.
That goal was surpassed in 2007, faster than anyone expected, and 10,000 Trees, and its army of volunteers, kept at it.
“We’ve decided to put away the counter and keep planting,” said Whaley. “We have a new team of young, high-spirited and successful volunteers. They’re bigger thinkers and have bigger goals to make a difference.”
Ten Thousand Forests also has a new executive director, Tessa Jennison. A Waterloo native, Jennison earned her Bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of Waterloo.
The Fort McMurray disaster may be just a taste of what’s ahead – as the warming climate looks to increase large forest fires in Canada by 50% by the end of the century.
A new report from Natural Resources Canada has revealed that climate change will have a significant impact on forest fires in the coming years.
While the Fort McMurray wildfire that covered 590,000 hectares is expected to become the largest insurance loss in Canadian history, the increasing size of fires may mean that the record will be quickly outstripped.
New Brunswick is on the brink of another spruce budworm outbreak and the forestry industry — the largest in the province — is doing everything in its power to prevent massive defoliation like that of the 1970s.
But to control the insect’s population, the province is banking on a different approach than the intensive aerial spraying of the past, according to the research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service.
“We’re trying to do a very surgical targeted, very small areas, instead of treating half the province, which happened during the previous outbreak,” said Johns.
Scientists together with the industry have started treating several hot spots in New Brunswick in the face of a looming epidemic.
The tariff barriers imposed on Canadian softwood lumber cost American consumers a fortune, all while enriching a limited group of producers, shows a Viewpoint published today by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), a Canadian public policy research center.
Since the entry into force of the latest Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the United States, tariffs at the border have reduced Canadian exports and have allowed American producers to increase their market shares. The latter thus registered additional net earnings of US$4.31 billion between 2006 and 2015.
American consumers, however, are the big losers of this deal. Since the Canadian lumber targeted by the Agreement is used primarily for residential construction on the American market, American consumers have had to get their wood from an alternative and more expensive source.