The Canadian dollar sank on the weight of preliminary U.S. duties on softwood lumber imports that is expected to lead to large job losses that could begin to take hold as early as this fall. "It's an absolute disaster for Canada," said Unifor president Jerry Dias, a union which represents 24,000 forestry workers at 134 companies. The U.S. Commerce Department levied countervailing duties ranging between 3.02 and 24.12 per cent on five large Canadian producers and 19.88 per cent for all other firms effective May 1.
The federal government is reaching out to reassure forestry workers, lumber producers and others facing the impact from a fresh sofwood trade war that it stands ready to help cushion what it suggests will be a heavy blow. The U.S. is imposing significant duties of up to 24 per cent on lumber imports — the latest flare-up in Canada's escalating trade skirmish with President Donald Trump's administration. Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr acknowledged Tuesday that job losses are likely in the offing, saying Employment and Social Development Canada is standing by to provide essential services for anyone who is impacted.
British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan is accusing Liberal Leader Christy Clark of delay and inaction in the wake of American demands for duties on Canadian softwood. Horgan issued a news release saying he is disappointed by the United States government's decision to level an average 20 per cent duty on Canadian softwood, effective May 1. Horgan says Clark didn't treat the softwood dispute with the urgency it deserves, and her inaction put thousands of B.C. jobs at risk.
Then come the violent threats, trucks set alight, garages vandalized and even people beaten up, in some cases. The best way to deter organized crime from infiltrating the industry, he said, is to implement a controlled system across the 19 boroughs. "We'll have more regulations, and organized crime will say, 'I don't want to go in that business anymore because there's no value for us,'" he said.
New Brunswick has appointed five woman judges, bringing gender parity to the provincial court, and named the first female chief judge. Premier Brian Gallant said Judge Jolene Richard will be promoted to chief judge of the provincial court. The five new judges will bring the total number of full-time judges to 24, bringing gender parity among full-time judges as of June 2, when Pierre Arsenault steps down as chief judge.
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