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April 26, 2017

Premier Christy Clark calls for federal ban on thermal coal exports, including U.S. shipments

SURREY – Premier Christy Clark was welcomed today by a B.C. company that stood up to an unfair and punitive U.S. trade action – and won.

“The U.S. was wrong when it targeted Catalyst, and it’s wrong to go after B.C. softwood now,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Every time these allegations are tested in an impartial court, they are struck down, because the facts are on our side. We’ll keep negotiating, but if we have to go back to court, we will – and we’ll win again.”

The Premier announced she has written to Prime Minister Trudeau to ask the federal government to ban the shipment of thermal coal, including U.S. shipments, through British Columbia – sending a strong message that BC and Canada will protect the interests of workers in forestry and other sectors targeted by the Trump administration.

A B.C. company with over 1,500 employees in the province, including 75 at their Surrey distribution centre, Catalyst made headlines when it was targeted by U.S. rivals and the American government, and was subjected to duties. Last week, after almost two years and millions of dollars in duties and legal fees, Catalyst won its challenge as the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled Catalyst was not receiving unfair subsidies.

In a statement April 20th, Catalyst recognized and thanked Premier Clark and her government, along with the Government of Canada, for defending Catalyst and its workers during the dispute. Today’s BC Liberals stood with Catalyst, and will stand up for BC’s forestry industry.

Not only do the BC NDP and Green Party have no plan for forestry, but John Horgan has already turned his back on BC’s forestry sector and the tens of thousands of workers and their families who depend on it for their livelihood. On getting a new softwood deal, he said, “Good luck with that.”

What’s more, the U.S. industry campaign against Catalyst was supported from the start by the Pittsburgh-based United Steelworkers – the same union bosses who gave the BC NDP the largest political donation in BC history, and are directly paying the salaries for Horgan’s three top campaign staff.

Not long after the Catalyst trade action was launched in 2015, Horgan made Steelworkers president Leo Gerard an honourary lifetime member of the BC NDP.

And it was Leo Gerard and the United Steelworkers who, last year, asked the U.S. government to slap a 50% tariff on Canadian aluminum – threatening some 1,000 jobs at RioTintoAlcan in Kitimat.

The provincial election will be held on May 9th, with advance polls open on April 29 and 30, and May 3, 4, 5, and 6.