Under the challenge of US timber tariffs, the new coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly worsen the Canadian forestry industry's situation which urgently needs the support of government funds to survive.
The pandemic caused the forest industry to face a severe recession. Currently, the Canadian forest products giant Resolute Forest Products (RFP) has laid off more than 1,000 employees at its Quebec factory.
Karl Blackburn, senior director of public affairs and intergovernmental relations at RFP, explained: "Currently, there is a slight increase in the demand for the pulp market, especially the surge in the demand for toilet paper, but the commercial printing paper or other wood products market has been hit hard, and there is no improvement in the short term.
He continues: ” The company’s three factories in Ontario have not yet laid off staff, but closed the sawmill in Ignace, Northwestern in April 2019. Affected by the pandemic, they were unable to resume operations as planned this spring.''
In recent years, the Canadian timber industry has experienced ups and downs. Since 2018, the timber industry has been sluggish due to price drops. For all the Canadian timber industry, 2019 was an extremely difficult year, and all industry insiders expected the market to pick up in 2020. However, at the beginning of 2020, an increased demand had brought hope, but the pandemic struck the growth momentum. At present, only the government can help the forest products market return to the right track.