Gov't hiding behind softwood agreement

    OTTAWA, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The president of Canada's largest
forestry union says "Federal Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn is either
profoundly ignorant of international trade law, or else he is plainly
    "Telling Canadians that the Softwood Lumber Agreement prevents the
government from coming to the aid of the forest industry is total hogwash,"
says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
Union of Canada.
    "Nothing in the Agreement prevents the federal government from acting as
a lender or a loan guarantor for a forest company. A loan is not a subsidy.
And the Softwood Lumber Agreement is not supposed to be a suicide pact.
    "In a staggering lack of vision and leadership that has been the mark of
this government during the economic crisis, Mr. Blackburn is sending a clear
message that the Conservatives are giving up on an industry that provides the
livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Canadians and hundreds of communities.
    "Our message to him is stop hiding behind the Softwood Lumber Agreement,
and stand up for Canadian workers and their families."

For further information:

For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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