Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett says the province has quite a battle ahead when it comes to the softwood lumber agreement.
This as the local MLA broke down the BC budget for the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce over breakfast Friday morning.
He says the agreement is essential to British Columbia’s lumber industry and called the United States ‘bullies’ when trading across their border.
“We will go through I think a painful process before we get another agreement with them,” Bennett says. “The US on trade issues tends to be very, very aggressive. We have to stand up to them, we can’t cave in, its going to take some time to negotiate our way through that. Its going to be a tough time.”
Bennett expects negotiations between the two sides will continue over the next two years, long after his retirement from office this May.
He also spoke about the budget in Fernie Friday.
The pair of events may be some of the last presentations of Bennett’s political career.
He announced last June that he was not seeking re-election in May, ending 16 years in office.
– Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett
– Jeff Johnson