Premier Christy Clark calls for federal ban on thermal coal exports, including U.S. shipments; attacks NDP and Green Party

Premier Christy Clark

THE Liberal Party announced on Wednesday that Premier Christy Clark was welcomed 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 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.”

Clark said that she has written to Prime Minister Justin 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 on April 20, Catalyst recognized and thanked Clark and her government, along with the Government of Canada, for defending Catalyst and its workers during the dispute.

The Liberals said that they stood with Catalyst, and will stand up for BC’s forestry industry.

They then went on to attack the NDP and the Green Party, alleging that those parties have no plan for forestry, and that NDP Leader 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.”

The Liberals said: “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.”