Union seeks forestry commitment from Liberals

    OTTAWA, Sept. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Members of the Liberal caucus have today
received a letter from Canada's largest forestry union urging them to put the
crisis in our country's forest industry on their agenda for the coming
Parliamentary session.
    "As you meet this week in Northern Ontario - the hub of Canada's forest
industry - the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union strongly urges
you to speak out on an issue so critical to rural Canadians," says the letter
signed by CEP President Dave Coles and Secretary-Treasurer Gaétan Ménard.
    "Dozens of Liberal MPs represent forest communities in Canada," says Mr.
Ménard, "yet the Liberal party and its leader have continually refused to
articulate a clear commitment to help forestry workers and their families."
    "There have been more than 75,000 job losses in the forestry sector over
the past five years, which have not been addressed by the federal government.
Though the Conservative government is hoping that the forest crisis will fall
off the political radar, if you have been listening to your constituents over
the summer months, you will be well aware that it is festering wound in many
uprooted communities across Canada.
    "With action from the federal government in the form of loan guarantees
for viable mills and a level playing field with the U.S., the forest industry
can sustain hundreds of rural communities, and hundreds of thousands of
workers and their families. Without it, there will undoubtedly be many more
    "The Conservative government has made its position painfully clear - it
has steadfastly refused to come to the aid of the forest industry in any
meaningful way.
    "If the Liberals really want to stand apart from the Conservatives, they
should stand up for forest workers and rural Canada by introducing initiatives
to bring immediate relief to forest companies facing bankruptcy.
    "Our team of economists has put together a list of plausible solutions
and we are available to discuss these at your convenience."

For further information:

For further information: Gaétan Ménard, (819) 775-6980; Michelle Walsh,
CEP Communications Director, (613) 230-5800, ext. 222, (613) 858-9144; To see
the letter visit www.cep.ca

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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