Alberta has hired Gary Doer to help stick up for our province’s softwood lumber industry.
Doer is a former Canadian ambassador to the United States and a former NDP premier of Manitoba. The Notley government said Monday that Doer has the experience and the contacts in Washington to provide important advocacy advice.
“I am very pleased that Gary Doer has agreed to work on behalf of Albertans to help communicate our position on softwood lumber to decision makers in Canada and the U.S.,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a statement. “The U.S. is Alberta’s most important trading partner and Mr. Doer’s engagement is another example of how our government is doing all it can to advocate for Alberta industry and jobs.”
The U.S. has slapped tariffs as high as 24 per cent on Canadian lumber, as part of its long-standing view that Canadian logging companies get unfair subsidies. The Canadian government is now considering retaliation in two areas: one is a possible ban on exports of U.S. coal from B.C., and the other is a study of potential duties against products from Oregon.
“We welcome Mr. Doer’s assistance to raise awareness in the United States about Alberta’s fair and competitive lumber pricing practices. Gary is one of most skilled and knowledgeable people Alberta could hire to advocate on our behalf,” said Paul Whittaker, president and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association. “He is uniquely suited to work with industry and government to challenge these tariffs and we look forward to collaborating with him to defend the jobs of Albertans working in the forestry sector.”
Doer works at Dentons global law firm, and Alberta is paying them $10,000 a month for Doer’s services. (bd, with files from the Canadian Press)