Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Save our forests… unless the U.S. wants to put tariffs on them

This Magazine Staff

In this week’s NOW Magazine, Wayne Roberts provides some much-needed perspective on the softwood lumber dispute. He wonders why many moderate, even progressive, Canadians are looking to the federal government to stand up to the United States on the issue of tariffs being applied to raw lumber imports from Canada:

“It disturbs me that any Canadians, let alone the almost unanimous mass of Canadians, are so lacking in self-confidence and respect for their ecological habitat as to consider Martin’s arguments anything but victim-position politicking.”

Overlooked is the fact that what the Canadian lumber industry wants is to sell our forests as cheaply as possible—and according to the Prime Minister’s latest public comments on the matter, we’re willing to seek out more compliant customers, such as China, if the U.S. doesn’t bend.

Framed in this way, shouldn’t progressives be more concerned about preserving Canadian forests than sticking to our southern neighbours? Environmentalists need to be aware that they’re not being heard in this debate, all because Canadians across the political spectrum seem to revel in beating the Americans above all else.

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