News Release Archive

Nova Scotia Natural Resources Minister Don Downe says Canada
should be more aggressive in addressing European Community
trade restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber shipments.

At a recent meeting of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers
in Winnipeg, Mr. Downe stated that the EC policy of accepting
only heat treated or kiln dried lumber has had a severe impact
on lumber producers in the Atlantic Provinces.

Since June 1993, the EC has not accepted untreated Canadian
lumber, claiming that pinewood nematode, a microscopic organism
which can be found in Canadian forests, is a threat to European

As a result of the restriction, Nova Scotia has lost 70 per
cent of its softwood lumber market in Europe. In 1993 the value
of Canadian lumber exports to Europe dropped by $433 million and
in 1994 the reduction was $355 million.

"Canadian authorities should be more pro-active and more
aggressive in dealing with European authorities on the pinewood
nematode issue," said Mr. Downe. "In our view, this restriction
is merely an artificial trade barrier. Lumber produced in the
Maritimes does not present any real threat to the health of
forests overseas and there is scientific evidence to support
this...Maritime producers should not be restricted in having
access to this major and traditional lumber market."

The CCFM supported Mr. Downe's position on the pinewood
nematode issue and agreed that Canadian trade interests need to
be more aggressively pursued.

Mr. Downe also called for the continuation of the federal
government's Cooperative Overseas Market Development Program.
Under that program funding has been provided for the BPIB
(Bureau de Promotion des Industries du Bois), an agency which
represents the interests of lumber producers from the six eastern
provinces. An agreement providing funding for the BPIP expired at the end
of 1994.

"I have urged the federal government to renew the funding
arrangement so that the bureau can continue its excellent
marketing work overseas on behalf of eastern Canadian lumber
producers," Mr. Downe said. "It is very important to support
the BPIB's role in maintaining and expanding the European market
for lumber produced and exported from our region."

In response to Mr. Downe's presentation at the Winnipeg
meeting, the council of ministers agreed to send a strong message to the
federal government for continuation of the market development


Contact: Blain Henshaw   902-424-5252

trp                        Oct. 17, 1995