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Forest for the Trees: At the Root of the Softwood Lumber Fight PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Saturday, 27 August 2005 06:46
Forest for the Trees: At the Root of the Softwood Lumber Fight

PEJ News - Jack Etkin - Yes, let's put tariffs on California wine, so Canadian consumers can pay more, in order to force the US to give Billions of what should be OUR money back to the logging companies that are so happily and profitably destroying our planet. 

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Media Lying about Softwood Lumber Deal
Jack Etkin
August 27, 2005
 
I think Canadians are being told a pack of lies about the softwood lumber deal. (But I'm not sure and I'm open to correction on any of this.)
 
My understanding is this ...
 
First, the approximately $5,000,000,000 (five billion dollars) that is being discussed is not OUR money, it is Corporate money, and if 'CANADA' win this argument, the money is all going to the Corporations...  The Corporate Media gives the impression that this is public money, coming to the Canadian government, I think the money is going to the logging companies that have paid the tariffs. 
 
Second, the basis of this issue is that the Americans say Canada is subsidizing our lumber and allowing this lumber to undercut US companies.  I think this is probably correct, we do give our lumber to the Corporations at rock bottom prices.  This may not be a cut and dried issue, but the Americans have a strong case.  Why is the Corporate Government and the Corporate Media saying we don't subsidize?   Don't Canadians deserve an honest assessment?  (The answer, of course, is NO, we don't, we only deserve, and get, the Corporate spin.)
 
Third, the Americans did NOT say they want to put tariffs on lumber as it crosses the border.  They asked Canada to tax the lumber, or charge more, so that US companies can compete.  Our Corporate governments said NO, we won't raise the price because if we do the money will go to the public purse, and we don't want that.  Better to fight this war, and if Canada 'wins', the Corporations will get the money ...  If we had simply raised the price of this lumber the money would be wasted on things like health care, schools, roads, etc.  This way the money can become something more important, like Corporate profit.
 
Fourth, of course Canada is winning all the NAFTA challenges.  NAFTA is a Corporate organization, run by and for the Corporation.  If governments want to give public resources to Corporations at rock bottom prices, that is great.  Of course NAFTA tribunals will side with Canada, they love this stuff.
 
Fifth, we have yet to see where this leads us, but in my opinion the citizens of Canada are being played for fools (again) by the Corporations, their governments, and their Media.  Even if we win, we will lose, and we have yet to see how much we are going to lose. 

Yes, let's put tariffs on California wine, so Canadian consumers can pay more, in order to force the US to give Billions of what should be OUR money back to the logging companies that are so happily and profitably destroying our planet. 

What a good plan.  How they must be laughing at us in the Corporate boardrooms.
 


Jack Etkin
is Victoria-based activist and media critic.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2005 06:46
 

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