Forestry communities on Vancouver Island are weathering the current softwood storm.
Rick Wangler, of the United Steelworkers Local 1937, says there’s been no immediate fallout from the tariffs imposed by the U.S.
“I haven’t heard that there’s any announcements of layoffs yet. What I have heard, mostly through the grapevine, is that a lot of the larger companies had prepared in advance for [updates to come].”
Wangler says some of the smaller mills, that don’t have the capital behind them, may be feeling the heat but there are federal programs in place that are supposed to help.
Canadian producers are also likely helped by a Canadian dollar that is much lower than the U.S. currency, as lumber is priced in U.S. dollars.
According to the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance about 11,000 people work in the forestry industry on the Island.