by Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 21, 2017 10:25 am MDT Last Updated Apr 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email New Brunswick seeking continued exemption from duties on lumber exports FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s trade-policy minister says he’s confident Atlantic Canadian lumber exports will remain excluded from U.S. duties once President Donald Trump sees the facts.Roger Melanson, who is also president of the province’s Treasury Board, says he’s been working alongside the federal government to secure exclusions in place since 1982.The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to release a preliminary decision by Tuesday whether to impose duties on Canadian softwood, which American producers say is overly subsidized and unfairly floods their market.Trump has called Canada’s actions a “disgrace” when it comes to dairy, lumber, timber and energy.There have been estimates the duties could range from 20-40 per cent.“We do not know for sure what the determination will be, but certainly a duty in that range would have an impact on the New Brunswick economy, and certainly on New Brunswick communities where the forestry industry is so important,” Melanson said Friday.He said there could be very serious local impacts if specific mills are idled or permanently closed.Duties have the potential to impact 14 companies operating a total of 25 sawmills in New Brunswick. Representatives of those companies declined any comment as they entered a meeting with the provincial government Friday afternoon in Fredericton.More than 86 per cent of the province is forested. The forestry industry contributes $1.45 billion to the New Brunswick economy each year and employs more than 22,000 people.For more than 30 years, Atlantic Canada has been excluded from every softwood lumber agreement and all trade litigation due to unique market conditions.Melanson said he has had meetings in recent weeks with state officials in Massachusetts and Maine to explain why the exemptions should continue.“I think when we show the facts, and the results, to the new administration in Washington, I think they’ll get it,” he said.The minister uses the example of Junction Lumber in Bathurst, N.B., which he says creates 20 jobs in New Brunswick because of the partnership and access to the U.S. market. Can-Am Cedar, which creates playground equipment with wood from Junction Lumber, creates 12 jobs in Maine.The New Brunswick government has set up a task force to address the possible duties. Melanson said it aims to determine and mitigate the impact that next week’s ruling could have on New Brunswick communities.Opposition critic Ross Wetmore says the task force is a case of too little, too late.“A month before the duties are to take place, they decide to appoint a task force,” he said. “We should have been at the table long ago.”
THE PRESIDENT OF The Irish Medical Organisation has written to the Minister for Health James Reilly asking that guidelines be put in place to help doctors dealing with cases under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.Dr Matt Sadlier told the minister that guidelines were needed for psychiatrists who are required to determine if there is a real and substantial threat to the life of a patient by suicide.Sadlier also wants guidelines developed for GPs who have a conscientious objection and must refer a patient onto an alternative practitioner.The IMO president told the minister that it was “very regrettable” that guidelines were not put in place to accompany the law as it was enacted.“Guidelines are even more important where cases are expected to happen rarely such as cases where there is a risk of loss of life from self-destruction,” said Sadlier.Under the act, if there is a substantial risk to a pregnant woman’s life due to suicide and it is deemed by two psychiatrists and an obstetrician that this can only be averted by a termination, the procedure is lawful.But Sadlier has complained to the minister that psychiatrists have been given no help to make this determination.“There are no guidelines available for psychiatrists who are expected to certify if there is a real and substantial threat to the life of a patient by suicide,” he explained. The aim of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 is to provide clarity to both women and medical practitioners, however, in the absence of clinical guidelines, medical practitioners are faced with continued uncertainty.Sadlier said that the aim of providing these guidelines is all about ensuring that patients get the most appropriate care.“Failure to comply with best-practice guidelines can lead to the rapid deterioration of a patient’s condition and/or death. All the cases provided for by the legislation are rare and therefore guidelines are required to ensure safe, quality and timely care,” he explained.In advance of guidelines being put in place, the IMO say that urgent arrangements are needed to support medical practitioners in the interim.Read: What the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 contains >Read: Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act comes into force today >
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