Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon to our witnesses.
I'd like to welcome you to your House of Commons.
I'm an MP from Quebec. In my riding, there aren't, strictly speaking, any forest areas and forestry companies as vast and successful as the ones you mentioned earlier.
However, I'd still like to point out that this industry is very important to the Quebec economy. Earlier, Ms. Brassard gave us a good picture of the reality: the industry is much more than just producing planks, much more than lumberjack work, it's also high-tech.
Three years ago, I went to the Fjord region, in the riding of Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, and I discovered the scent of wood. I was very happy to discover that smell, a smell I like to breathe when I'm walking around. Moreover, wood is used in the composition of many by-products. As Ms. Brassard said earlier, the industry is modernizing, it gives rise to added value. It must change, improve, and that is exactly what's happening.
Ms. Brassard also reported on the investments that have been made and the steps taken by Canada Economic Development. During the years 2009 to 2013, when I was a member of the provincial government, there were fruitful and interesting collaborations that proved beneficial to Quebec workers in the forestry sector. I am also very pleased to point out that those years coincided with my time in government.
Thereafter, we cannot say that things have improved. By a strange coincidence, exactly four years ago today, March 11, do you know where our Prime Minister was? He was in the White House with his good friend, the president at the time, Barack Obama—it's nice to have good relationships like that—and it would have been an extraordinary opportunity to resolve the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States.
What existed four years ago still exists today. Unfortunately, four years ago, when there was perfect harmony between the two heads of state, the Canadian head of state and the American head of state, our Prime Minister failed to resolve this problem which, unfortunately, is affecting the forestry sector, both in Quebec and across Canada, namely the issue of tariffs.
The issue of the tariff problem is a huge one; it is still a 20% tariff, and its application has repercussions. We won another victory last September. Once again, the arbitration tribunal ruled in our favour as Canadians. So what's the big deal? The problem is that this victory has yet to be proven and more needs to be done.
Ms. Brassard, can you explain to us what impact the U.S. anti-dumping tariff, which was challenged by the court, has had on the forestry industry in Quebec?