The Inauguration of US President Joe Biden signals hope for most people but it could also cause angst for those in Northern BC’s natural resource sector.
That’s according to UNBC Political Science Lecturer Jason Morris.
(Photo supplied by Pixabay)
Morris told Vista Radio we have reason to be concerned after Biden stated one of his first acts as president would be to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline expansion.
“Surely there is going to be a lot of frustration for many Canadians that saw projects like the Keystone XL pipeline go through environmental hurdles and receive some first nation support only to be jettisoned soon.”
“No doubt Northern BC and all of the country will feel the effects of the situation, which a president vows to cancel a project deal that was previously made in good faith.”
Morris added while optimism is high for the Biden-Harris Administration many hurdles still need to be cleared in order to achieve all their goals.
He mentioned different portions of the political structure may prove difficult to maneuver.
“There’s a lot of checks and balances in the US system with the legislature, with the courts, and with very powerful interest groups that can deny a president from achieving all of their dreams of have their visions accomplished more modestly.”
When it comes to the forestry sector, Canada and the United States still remain without a Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA).
According to the Government of Canada website, the SLA expired on October 12th, 2015.
The United States government and industry agreed to not undertake new countervailing or anti-dumping duty investigations against Canadian softwood lumber products for one year following the expiry of the SLA where the one-year period expired during the fall of 2016.
BC still remains the largest trading partner when it comes to lumber but has since amped up their partnerships overseas, more specifically in Asia.
Morris outlined what it might take for both countries to reengage on the issue.
“The asks for debates and considerations, along with requests to the US administration have to come from higher up – not even just premiers but a lumber industry requesting that the Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) advocate for what he feels is in Canada’s best interests.”
Lastly, the Political Science Lecturer stated the United States is very divided politically right now an issue that needs to change sooner rather than later.
“What we really need to hear from an incoming president is a speech that is sincere and genuine healing and not just politicking. It is a situation in which, people are not on the same page on so many regards and that doesn’t bode well for just the average doing of politics and daily living.”